Long Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

Aside from the ever-present overdose potential, short-term side effects of heroin abuse may seem minimal. However, like many drugs, the long term effects of heroin abuse can destroy lives.

Common Long-Term Heroin Use Side Effects

Amongst users, heroin’s most endearing quality is that it initially provides a euphoric feeling. The chase to replicate that feeling can lead to several long-term health problems, including:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Damaged skin from excessive scratching
  • Susceptible immune system
  • Lack of appetite leading to malnutrition
  • Prolonged insomnia
  • Decreased sexual performance

Prolonged heroin abuse can also cause significant liver, kidney or heart issues. Because heroin attacks the central nervous system, the brain suffers from lack of oxygen. Bacterial infections and abscesses can also cause serious health problems.

Additionally, long term effects of heroin abuse can lead to personal ruin. Many people have suffered the following as a result of heroin addiction:

  • Financial instability
  • Relationship failures
  • Academic or employment issues
  • Legal consequences

Heroin Dependency

Despite knowing about the dangers of long term effects of heroin abuse, many people find it difficult to quit because they’ve developed a chemical dependency. Consistent heroin use leads to the body needing the drug to function. Without it, the body responds adversely. Heroin withdrawal effects don’t help the cause to stop using, either.

Deciding to Quit Using Heroin

Making the decision to stop using heroin is noble. However, without a plan, quitting can be a miserable experience.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can start 24–48 hours after non-use. Without medical supervision, these symptoms can become unbearable. Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Shaking
  • Excessive claminess and sweating
  • Seizures

The best way to quit heroin and treat heroin withdrawal symptoms is to attend a heroin detox. Medical professionals will effectively flush your body of dangerous toxins, while monitoring your mental well-being, nutrition and overall stabilization. Depending upon your condition and the facility’s guidelines, this could take up to two weeks.

After finishing detox, the best course of action is transitioning to a comprehensive heroin overdose treatment facility. Even though the drug is out of your system by this point, recovering from a heroin addiction means changing the behaviors and actions that led to your addiction. Through various levels of care and treatment, qualified facilities can teach you healthy habits and coping techniques for sustainable sobriety.

Heroin addiction is difficult to overcome, but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Using our various resources, we can help you find the treatment you need so you can live the life you deserve.