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Long-Term Effects of Heroin

a blonde woman sits in the dark with her hand over her face while struggling with the effects of heroin

Although heroin use may appear glamorous in movies, it is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. At no point is heroin use safe. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies it as a Schedule I substance. This classification means that heroin is highly addictive and has no medical use. It is still very dangerous whether the drug is snorted, smoked, or injected. Using the drug repeatedly over time creates severe physical and psychological problems.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, reach out to Michael’s House today at 760.548.4032. Michael’s House offers its individuals with heroin addiction treatment programs that involve evidence-based practices. We can work closely with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that meets your needs and recovery goals. This plan may include counseling, medication-assisted treatment, or other therapies to address the long-term effects of heroin use.

Long-Term Side Effects of Heroin Use

Here is a summary of the most significant long-term effects of heroin use:

Heart Disease

One of the most common and severe health problems associated with long-term heroin use is heart disease. Heroin use can lead to infections and malfunctions in the areas surrounding a person’s heart. As a result, the drug can lead to heart failure and pulmonary complications. If someone has a family history of heart disease, he is even more susceptible to heart-related problems.

Kidney Disease

Heroin use leads to prolonged stress on the body and kidney disease. When an individual loses the function of his kidneys, he is at a greater risk of serious illness or death. Kidney disease is one of the less talked about consequences of heroin use but remains a significant risk for people with long-term heroin addiction. The kidneys remove waste from the body, so heroin abuse essentially overworks the kidneys.

HIV and Hepatitis

Those who inject heroin with a syringe face unique health risks. Sharing needles with others is the quickest way to contract HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. This is a serious health concern as over 130 million people worldwide have hepatitis C. Studies have shown that high percentages of HIV and hepatitis cases come from shared needle use.

Pneumonia and Tuberculosis (TB)

Heroin use affects the body’s ability to fight disease. Combining a weakened immune system with the generally unhealthy lifestyle of long-term addiction is a breeding ground for serious viral illnesses that can be deadly. Some examples include pneumonia, tuberculosis, and more.

Greater Chance of Overdose

The more an individual uses heroin over the years, the greater the chance that they suffer an accidental overdose. Sadly, drug overdose is a reality for people with heroin addictions. Not all heroin is the same strength. Because heroin is an illegal, unregulated drug, there is always a chance of receiving a bad dose cut with something harmful from a dealer looking to increase profits.

A Life Turned Upside Down

One of the most devastating consequences of long-term heroin use is the addiction itself. The never-ending pursuit of heroin causes individuals to lose their jobs, homes, families, and more. People with a heroin addiction often sell off all of their possessions and eventually turn to criminal behavior to pay for drugs. However, there is hope for a better life.

Heroin’s Effects on Mental Health

The effects of heroin on mental health are a tragic reality that affects thousands of individuals and families each year. This powerful drug can cause extreme changes in brain chemistry, leading to feelings of depression, anxiety, and even paranoia.

The long-term effects of heroin use on a person’s mental health include:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Psychosis
  • Memory deficits
  • Aggression and violence

Unfortunately, many people with heroin addiction also struggle to access the mental health support they need. If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin addiction, it’s important to seek help from qualified professionals who can provide the support and treatment necessary for a healthy recovery.

Contact Michael’s House for Help Finding a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

At Michael’s House, we understand the devastating consequences of long-term heroin use and are here to help. We provide evidence-based treatment options that can help individuals struggling with heroin addiction. Michael’s House is proud to offer the highest quality comprehensive treatment programs. Don’t wait another day. Please contact Michael’s House today at 760.548.4032.