Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is an illicit, powerful, and often deadly drug that can quickly and drastically destroy everything you hold dear in your life. The adverse long-term effects of heroin abuse include altering your emotional state, changing the function of your brain forever, and destroying your physical appearance. While the short-term effects can be tragic, the many long-term effects of heroin abuse will forever alter or end your life. If you observe the signs of heroin addiction in someone you love, contact Alina Lodge online or call us at 833.685.1700 today to learn how our heroin addiction treatment can help.

The Long-Term Effects Of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is an opiate, a drug that will be bound to your brain’s opioid receptors. This chemical process creates an intense rush of dopamine that is as intoxicating as it is addictive. This is because it is stronger than a person can receive naturally. The tidal wave of dopamine after a person takes heroin creates a euphoric high, and the brain quickly develops a strong need to replicate this pleasurable feeling. This is what causes the urge to use heroin over and over again, eventually leading to a heroin addiction and the long-term effects of heroin abuse.

Over time, your body and mind develop a tolerance to the drug. This means your brain will essentially be rewired to need heroin present inside your system to allow you to feel normal. The long-term effects of heroin abuse begin once your body has adjusted to the heroin, and the following intense dopamine hits. There comes a point where you will not even feel the high anymore, not even right after you take more heroin. Upon reaching this point, you increase the dosage to feel something resembling the high you once experienced, which often leads to overdose.

The long-term effects of heroin abuse bring about dramatic changes in the structure and the physiology of your brain. Although heroin recovery is possible with the assistance of a heroin addiction treatment at Alina Lodge, the changes to your hormone systems may be a challenge to undo. Additionally, heroin abuse can cause a decline in the white matter of your brain, causing problems with:

  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Decision-making

The physical dependence on heroin can lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the drug, the symptoms of which may include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Severe physical pain
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal issues

The Importance of Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin causes immense pain and problems to your body and quality of life in the short term, but what heroin does to your life, mind, and body in the long term can be catastrophic and deadly. Some of the long-term effects of heroin abuse include:

  • Damaged teeth, swollen gums, and other health problems
  • Skin issues
  • Extreme constipation and malnutrition
  • Weakened immune system
  • Problems sleeping
  • Sexual issues
  • Death

Along with the ways heroin impacts your body over time, there can be even more dangerous ways the drug can destroy your overall health, including:

  • Organ damage to the liver
  • Damage to kidneys (from infectious diseases caused by needle sharing and injection)
  • Brain damage from a lack of oxygen during overdoses

Additionally, users who regularly inject heroin may have more severe health issues, including infections of the heart valves, bacterial infections, and abscesses. Chronic heroin users also often have:

  • Lung problems
  • Development of tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • An end to their cycles altogether

If you inject heroin, it can lead to collapsed veins, blood infections, and soft tissue infections. Tissue in your vital organs may be damaged or destroyed, and because of immune reactions to contaminants often found in heroin, it can lead to arthritis and other similar problems.

Seeking professional and compassionate care to recover from heroin addiction can help reverse some of these horrific long-term effects of heroin abuse. The drug may have a tight grip on your life right now, but the help you need and deserve is available.

Learn More at Alina Lodge

If you spot the signs of heroin addiction in yourself or a loved one, the heroin addiction treatment programs at Alina Lodge can be the starting point for the reshaping of the rest of your life. Contact us using our secure online form or call us confidentially at 833.685.1700 today.

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