How Heroin Affects Your GI Tract

Heroin and Your Stomach

heroin-and-stomachHeroin depresses brain centers that control major muscle groups. These muscles groups respond by slowing down the rate and depth of respiration, inhibiting coughs, and slowing down gastrointestinal motility. 

Heroin affects the GI Tract by reducing peristalsis, decreasing gastrointestinal secretions and relaxing longitudinal muscle in the colon as well as simultaneously increasing contractions of the anal, esophageal and other sphincter muscles.


List of Effects

1. Heroin works by inhibiting lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, which causes abdominal cramping.

2. Heroin works by contracting the gallbladder, which delays gastric emptying, and that can result in abdominal discomfort.

3. Heroin works by increasing acid release and delaying gastric emptying of the stomach, which results in nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramping.

4. Heroin works by slowing transit time of food, which results in constipation, bloating and cramping.

5. Heroin works by increasing anal sphincter tone (contracts sphincter), which results in constipation.

Why Do Opiates Make You Throw Up?