Continued abuse of any drug could easily have lasting impacts on your body and health. Heroin is no different. Furthermore, heroin’s highly addictive nature makes it even more dangerous. Continued use of the drug will create several long-lasting psychological and physical complications. By learning the long-term side effects of heroin and how heroin addiction treatment, such as the intensive outpatient program offered at The District Recovery Community, can help individuals can get the support they need to heal.
How Does Heroin Addiction Develop?
Heroin’s addictive nature stems from the rapid increase of dependency and tolerance levels, and the painful withdrawal symptoms someone experiences after the drug wears off. When someone takes heroin, they experience intense euphoria and even pain relief. However, these feelings fade quickly, ushering in other effects like extreme drowsiness, itching, and slurred speech, among others.
The drastic contrast leads a person to abuse drugs to feel the intense euphoria they felt earlier. Over a brief period, the brain develops a high tolerance to heroin. This forces the person to take higher doses to achieve the euphoria they are after. The brain continues to builds tolerance as you take more drugs, leading you to increase the dose regularly. Some people might take heroin along with other substances to recapture the feeling.
What Are The Long-Term Side Effects Of Heroin?
The more prolonged your heroin use becomes, the more dependent on the drug your body and brain get. Increased dependence eventually leads to significant long-term effects on your mind and body. The lifestyle many develop due to their substance abuse disorders puts them at further risk for developing other life-threatening illnesses and infections.
One of the most significant long-term side effects of heroin is heart disease. Addiction to heroin can affect how your heart functions, eventually leading to pulmonary complications and even heart failure. Those who have a family history of heart disease tend to be more prone to developing heart-related complications.
Because of the additional strain the drug puts on your kidney’s functionality, prolonged use also affects your kidneys. This not only leads to kidney disease but also increases the risk of developing additional life-threatening illnesses.
Heroin being injected into the body poses additional long-term health risks. If you happen to share a needle with someone with contaminated blood, you can get affected as well. This leads to the spread of HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C, which interferes with your body’s ability to eliminate toxic waste and metabolize nutrients.
Pneumonia And TB
Combining an unhealthy lifestyle and a weakened immune system creates a breeding ground for viral infections and illnesses such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. Heroin suppresses your coughing impulse. Coughing clears mucus, harmful organisms, and debris from your lungs. When you can’t effectively clear your lungs, bacterial and viral infections easily develop. If left unchecked, this could lead to severe cases of lung disease.
Due to the unregulated nature of the drug, the potency and purity of each batch you take greatly vary. If injected directly into your bloodstream, the drug rapidly slows down the central nervous system, which affects your breathing, circulation, and blood pressure. This drastic drop puts you at risk of overdose regardless of how long you’ve been using the drug.
Seeking Addiction Treatment at District Recovery Community
Long-term side effects of heroin can be felt in every aspect of a person’s life, negatively impacting not only their health but their career, finances, and relationships. At The District Recovery Community, we offer various addiction treatments such as:
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Drug detox programs
- Gender-specific rehab
Early treatment is crucial in avoiding the long-term side effects of heroin use. At The District Recovery Community, we have a residential treatment and intensive outpatient program that includes treatment methods tailor-made to your needs. Reach out to District Recovery Community at 844.287.8506 and get the help you need today.