10 Interesting Facts About Heroin
Severe itching is a side effect of heroin use
When heroin enters the brain, it converts into morphine, which binds to opioid receptors in the brain and in the body. This produces a surge of euphoria, or rush, and a warm flushing of the skin.
But an unexpected side effect of heroin use is severe itchiness. Opiate drugs can cause histamines — the compounds the body produces during allergic reactions — to be released, and histamines irritate the skin, Ciccarone said. Heroin and other opiates can make people’s skin crawl and itch, and they may want to scratch their skin for relief.
A lot of users think something is wrong with their heroin when their skin gets itchy, but it usually means the drug is strong and not contaminated, Ciccarone told Live Science.
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