Long-term Effects

Snorting, smoking or injecting heroin just once is bad enough, but using the drug repeatedly over an extended period of time creates a number of serious physical and psychological problems.

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

Heart disease

One of the most common, and serious, health problems associated with long term heroin use is heart disease.

The drug creates and infections and malfunctions in the areas surrounding the heart which, consequently, can lead to a high incidence of heart failure and pulmonary complications. Especially susceptible are those with a family history of heart disease.

Kidney disease

Kidney failure occurs after prolonged stress on the system due to heroin use.

Loss of a function kidney puts the heroin user at greater risk of serious illness or death. Kidney disease is one of the less talked about consequences of heroin use, but remains a great risk for those who use the drug over months and years.

HIV and Hepatitis

Those who inject heroin into their veins using a syringe need to be VERY careful.

Sharing needles with other users is the quickest way to contract HIV (which can lead to full-blown AIDS) or Hepatitis B or C. This is a very serious problem. Studies have shown that high percentages of HIV and Hepatitis cases come from shared needle use.

Pneumonia and TB

Heroin use affects the immune system, and consequently, the body’s ability to fight disease.

Combine that with the generally unhealthy lifestyle of the long term heroin user and you’ve got a breeding ground for serious viral illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Greater chance of overdose

The more an individual uses heroin over the years, the greater the chance that they suffer an accidental overdose.

These overdoses occur for two primary reasons. First, because the user did not understand his or her limits and took too much of the drug. And second, because the user received a bad dose of the drug from a dealer. A bad dose can take many forms, including: a more powerful concentration of the drug than advertised, or a drug that has been “cut” with some kind of toxic substance.

Social upheaval

One of the most devastating consequences of long-term heroin use is the addiction itself.

The never-ending pursuit of the drug causes individual to lose everything: family, money, job security and friends. People who use all their money to fund their heroin addiction find themselves selling off all their possession and eventually turning to criminal behavior as a means of paying for drugs.

Michael’s House provides complete drug treatment programs for long-term heroin users. Although an individual who has become addicted to heroin is at great risk, all is not lost. The professionals at Michael’s House help individuals turn their lives around -and regain all the things that they once held dear.

If you, or someone you know, has been using heroin for an extended period of time, contact Michael’s House today at 1-877-345-8494.

Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494