Heroin and opiate use is on the rise. Of course, this is no secret. You probably have seen signs about this at your local doctor’s office. Opiates include prescribed drugs such as oxycodone, tramadol, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and fentanyl. 591,000 Americans age 12 and over were diagnosed with a heroin use disorder in 2015. Even more startling is the number of Americans age 12 and over who were diagnosed the same year as being addicted to prescription painkillers: 2 million. Addiction or overuse of opiates is not the only way that these pain medications can affect your body.

Let’s start with the organ that keeps the rest functioning: The brain. These drugs inform your brain that it must block the feeling of pain. This allows the feelings of calmness and happiness to occur. The brain stem itself is affected by opiate painkillers and heroin. Opioids and other substances have effects on our brain’s core functions such as sleeping, heart rate, and breathing. Your breathing may become slower or stop entirely. This partially explains why death occurs from drug and alcohol overdoses.

Other organs affected include your heart and lungs. Infections may occur in both of these organs. Muscle pain is another long-term consequence of opiate drug use. Often queasiness and throwing up occur due to the use of heroin and opioids. You may also experience difficulties with defecation. Opioid use can encourage difficulties with reproduction and digestion if taken over long periods of time.

Hyperalgesia or more sensitive to pain can occur due to the use of opioid pain medications. It can even exacerbate preexisting pain. Your pain tolerance can decrease as you utilize opiates over long periods of time.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms from Opioids on Your Body

Effects of Opioids on The BodyTwo hours after the last utilization of heroin, and before 30 hours have passed since your last use of methadone, withdrawal symptoms often begin. Often demonstrated withdrawal symptoms include, but are not limited to, insomnia, irritability, and anxiety. Pain in your muscles, teary eyes, perspiration, nasal drip, and yawning may be experienced. Stomach cramps, dilated pupils, and diarrhea may occur afterward. Goosebumps, queasiness, and throwing up are withdrawal symptoms noted later on in the withdrawal process.  Muscle spasms, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure are commonly seen during opiate detoxification cases. As you can guess, while these symptoms are not pleasant, they tend to not kill anyone. Medical detoxification centers may be an option to decrease some of the intensity of these symptoms.

Alternative Rehab in Burns, Tennessee

 It is important to understand the why and how of drug addiction to maintain your sobriety and decrease the chances of any further damage to your body. Using and then stopping the use will only lead to more damage to your body. Discovery Place in Burns, Tennessee is a wonderful alternative rehab with Recovery Guides who have personally experienced the horrors of addiction. Their own personal experiences, strength, and courage help our guests find the one-on-one support they need. Our recovery guides can help you learn about the 12-step programs that can further support your sobriety. Call us today at 1-800-725-0922.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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