How does ‘Chitta’ drug affect internal health, what are the symptoms, and how do we know if someone is a ‘drug addict’?

By Srishti Agrawal, Clinical Psychologist

“Chitta” are synthetically produced drugs, such as “heroin”. Heroin is considered to be the highly addictive, fast-acting, and most abused drug. It is an illegal drug prepared from the fruit of poppy plants. Its pure form is bitter in taste, usually in the form of white-colored powder. The ranges of color are from white to brown to black if it is in a less pure form. This can be smoked, snorted, or injected into the veins of a person.


PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS – Short-Term Effects On Health:

  • Euphoric rush
  • The legs and arms feel rubbery and heavy
  • Warm reddening of the skin
  • Mouth becomes dry
  • Insomnia Constipation
  • Hyper-alertness drowsiness
  • Severe itching Vomiting and nausea
  • Breathing and heart function slows
  • Decreased breathing can also cause coma and permanent brain damage.

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS – Long-Term Effects On Health:

  • Changes in the structure of the body as well as the function of the brain
  • Mucosal tissues damaged due to snorting Heroin
  • Prolonged injection use can cause scarred veins and other major bacterial infections
  • Injection/needle sharing can cause infections like HIV, hepatitis, and other blood-borne viruses
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Pulmonary complications
  • Liver disease
  • Lung complications (including pneumonia and tuberculosis)
  • Organ damages
  • Fatal overdose can even cause death


  • The mental capacity diminishes
  • The emotions become dull
  • Hormonal imbalance (affects the ability in making decisions, the ability in regulating the
    behavior, and responses to stressful situations)
  • Various types of mental health-related disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety
    disorder, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress


  • A strong desire or irresistible urge for substance intake or use
  • The problem in controlling substance use behavior
  • Tolerance develops: in order to maintain a similar level of intensity, individuals need to intake
    more of heroin.

This results in physical addiction eventually Physical dependence occurs when the body gets used to its presence.

Withdrawal symptoms: When substance intake has been reduced or ceased the symptoms of withdrawal happen. Cold flashers, diarrhea, insomnia, leg movement, muscle and bone pain, restlessness, panic, and vomiting are withdrawal symptoms.

  • Individuals have presented with continuous signs of withdrawal from almost a week to several months.
  • Avoidance of other responsibilities, interests, or hobbies due to substance intake.

Continuing with substance intake despite harmful consequences: When heroin is used repeatedly will result in heroin addiction or heroin use disorder. The addition is considered to be uncontrollable seeking of drugs with any consequences. Once a person has heroin use disorder, seeking and using the drug becomes their primary purpose in life.

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