Heroin is a semisynthetic opiate. It is developed from the chemical morphine, which in turn is a natural opiate that comes from the opium poppy. As an opiate, heroin is a depressant drug that produces a wave or ‘rush’ of euphoria, followed by hours of calm sedation and drowsiness.

Heroin is most commonly injected, although it is sometimes snorted, sniffed, or smoked in its powdered form. 

Addiction can start to take hold of our bodies and minds from the very first use of heroin. It is an extremely potent drug that can substantially alter the chemistry of the central nervous system after very little use.

Heroin addiction continues to be one of the most stigmatised addictions seen in the media. As a result, it can be extremely difficult for people suffering from heroin addiction to reach out to their loved ones for support. Revoke aims to help reduce this stigma.


There is a popular misconception that all heroin addicts are ‘street level’ users. However, there are a huge amount of people who are addicted to heroin who maintain seemingly normal lives and people can become very proficient at hiding their use. However, this doesn’t spare them from the physical dangers and emotional pitfalls of addiction. 

If you are concerned about addiction in yourself or a loved one, educating yourself on the nature of the condition, its dangers, and signs to watch out for is crucial when seeking or offering assistance.

Whatever stage of your journey you are on, Revoke is here to help. We provide high-quality, community-based, outpatient treatment for drug addiction. The Revoke Programme is designed to work alongside your daily life, so you’ll still be able to go to work, be present for your family and keep other commitments.


If you’re concerned that a friend or loved one is developing or has a heroin addiction, you may have already noticed some warning signs. These might be the visible physical effects of drug use or withdrawal symptoms. You may also have witnessed troubling changes in the way a person close to you is behaving.

Physical Symptoms

The exact onset of a heroin high depends on the way it was taken, but symptoms of a heroin high are usually apparent within minutes. These include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Slowed or short breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • ‘Nodding off’ or sudden semi-conscious drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low temperature

Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin addiction goes hand in hand with the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the drug can’t be taken or accessed. In people with notable physical dependence, withdrawal usually starts within a few hours to half a day after the last use. Symptoms include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive sweating unaffected by environment
  • Fever
  • Eyes tearing up
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle cramping, uncontrolled spasms in limbs
  • Runny nose
  • Profuse anxiety and/or depression
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Muscle or bone ache
  • Abdominal pain

Behavioural Signs

Long-term heroin abuse causes deterioration in users’ emotional and psychological states and can change the way a person acts. The brain fog, depression, and memory loss that is associated with the long-term effects of heroin abuse eventually affect the focus needed to succeed in business and personal relationships. Friends may feel an emotional absence, and work performance often deteriorates. Increased secrecy and defensiveness about whereabouts are both very common and often painful for loved ones.


Once it has taken hold, heroin abuse disorder can have catastrophic effects in a sufferer’s life. Personal relationships are put under extreme levels of stress when compulsive use becomes the norm. Work performance becomes near impossible to sustain, and job loss and financial struggles are likely to follow. 

At the same time, the well-documented physical dangers of heroin abuse are present from the very beginning. Long-term, users are at greatly increased risk of:

  • Cardiovascular infections 
  • Blood-borne illness (including HIV, Hepatitis B and C)
  • Skin abscesses and other infections
  • Pregnancy risks (including miscarriage, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and birth defects)
  • Worsening symptoms of withdrawal
  • Fatal overdose

The dangers of heroin addiction are harrowing, but it is possible to reclaim your life. The single most important step is to start the road to recovery with a trusted treatment provider.


The Revoke Programme offers group and individual therapies designed to help you escape the cycle of heroin addiction. 

Following an assessment, we offer group and individual therapies led by therapists specialising in addiction treatment and we work with our clients to understand the root cause of their addiction.

We combine different treatment options including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Couples therapy

Our outpatient recovery programme works alongside your daily life and we are able to support our clients with any issues and challenges they face in real-time. As you progress through the programme, we adapt our strategies to suit your needs.

The Revoke Programme offers a therapeutic approach and we ensure that you receive the most effective treatment at all times. For more details or to schedule an assessment, contact us today.

Join Our Community

The Revoke Programme offers specialist rehabilitation treatment plans to ensure you can recover and can lead a positive, fulfilling life free from heroin addiction.

If you have been struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, help starts here. Revoke is able to provide the therapeutic support you need to escape addiction. Please call us for more details, to ask any questions, or to schedule an assessment and start to reclaim your life today.

We are here to help

You are not alone. Reach out to us today if you would like to find out more about The Revoke Programme.

The Revoke Programme is a leading outpatient treatment programme and is part of Ishmail & Associates Limited

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