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Long Term
Effects of Heroin

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As with most illicit drugs the damaging effects of heroin to the body can be severe. The damage that heroin can cause the body can last a long time and sometimes may be irreparable . Side effects of heroin use can result from the neurological damage, the administering damage and self-induced destruction. Although there are few Heroin withdrawal symptoms long-term, a chronic user may find reoccurring symptoms long after they have sustained use.

Within minutes of injecting or inhaling Heroin, the drug crosses what is known as the blood-brain barrier. Heroin then converts to morphine and floods the sensory receptors in the brain; this is what causes euphoric feeling. Heroin binds to the receptors and damages the brains ability to produce the natural chemicals that balances moods.

Side Effects of Heroin

The immediate side effects are generally short lived, and subside after a just a few hours. The euphoria, pain relief, and instant feelings of comfort are often what a user chases into their addiction. Because heroin has tolerance building characteristics heroin addiction can progress to a powerful addiction rapidly. A heroin addict generally initiates use by trying to achieve a high, or comfort, but as addiction progresses their focus turns to preventing heroin withdrawal symptoms, long term use becomes an miserable cycle of relapse, pain, “chasing the dragon”, and the feeling of pure hopelessness.

Immediate Side Effects Include:

  • Depressed, low, breathing, respiratory failure
  • Disorientation, confusion, memory loss
  • Nausea, faint, vomiting
  • Itchy skin, delusions (such as bugs crawling on skin)
  • Relief of pain, discomfort, aches

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Even with the desire to stop using, heroin withdrawal symptoms make suspension merely impossible; this becomes the catalyst to relapse.

  • Diarrhea
  • Depression, Anxiety
  • Insomnia, Restlessness
  • Nervousness, Irritability
  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Goose Bumps, crawling skin
  • Hot flashes, fever, excessive sweating accompanied by chills
  • Dehydration
  • Increased heart rate, increased blood pressure
  • Body aches, leg cramps
  • Uncontrollable twitching, reflexes

Relapsing as a result of preventing withdrawal is common. Through the aid of a medical detox, overcoming a heroin detox can be safe and comfortable.


Long-Term Withdrawal Symptoms

As the body builds a tolerance the user gradually increases the frequency and the dose to achieve the same effect. With frequent, heavy use of heroin the brain becomes incapable of producing the necessary chemicals to produce pleasure. The body is capable of recovering from the damages of heroin; however it can take a long time. Recovering heroin addicts have noted that even after several months of last dose they have experienced heroin withdrawal symptoms long term. Recovering heroin addicts have experienced brief cycles of cold sweats, anxiety, depression, and several other withdrawal symptoms.

Long-Term Effects of Heroin

Long-term heroin abuse can and usually does lead to a powerful physical and psychological addiction. Heroin addiction can lead to fatal circumstances. Many addicts are unaware of what are the long term effects of heroin. The risks of health complications, diseases, infections, and overdose make long-term heroin use one of the most perilous drugs.

Heroin is commonly administered by injection and smoking, in some cases it is snorted or by suppository. The health risks are much higher for those who inject it, the risk of infections and blood-borne diseases are greater due to unsanitary needle use or needle sharing.

  • Skin infections, boils or abscesses, and bacterial infections
  • Blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C
  • Kidney disease and Liver disease
  • Scarred or Collapsed veins: repeated injections can cause a vein to swell, cutting off the blood circulation. Repeated injury to the vein wall can cause a permanently collapsed vein.
  • Arthritis and Rheumatologic complications
  • Severe Depression, can potentially lead to suicide
  • Overdose, unconsciousness, without immediate hospitalization can result in death

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