Long-Term Effects of Heroin Addiction

The illicit opioid drug heroin is processed from morphine to produce a highly addictive substance. Morphine is a naturally occurring substance. It is extracted from the seeds of the poppy plant. Heroin, like other opioids, binds to the opioid receptors in the brain and depresses the central nervous system. When someone takes a dose of heroin, it causes an intense euphoric rush followed by a sense of calm and relaxation. The intense euphoric rush that the drug produces is caused by increased levels of dopamine being released in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that affects pleasure and reward. This intense pleasure is what makes the drug so addictive and makes an individual crave more. 

Long-Term Effects of Heroin Addiction

The Most Common Side Effects Of Short-Term Heroin Abuse

Short-term heroin use can also cause endocarditis which is inflammation of the heart valve. Using heroin even one time can be deadly. One dose can shut down a person’s respiratory system where they can’t breathe and stop their heart, especially if the drug is mixed with fentanyl which a lot of the heroin on the streets these days is.

How To Get Help For Heroin Misuse?

If you are already experiencing any of the below symptoms, we highly recommend you get heroin addiction detox & treatment as soon as possible. Heroin is highly addictive and the more you continue to use it, the more likely it will be much harder to quit. It is already having a heavy negative toll on your body and continuing to abuse it will just make things worse. We can help you in your recovery from heroin and any other opioids. It comes with a variety of effects, some can be deemed as positive, but in the end, you still are abusing a deadly drug. Some of the other immediate effects of heroin can include:

  • Pain relief
  • Anxiety relief
  • Skin flushing
  • Increase in body temperature 
  • Heaviness of arms and legs
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • In and out of consciousness 

What Are The Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use On The Brain?

Heroin can have detrimental effects on a person’s brain and body and long-term use can cause permanent damage to the brain. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Heroin Research Report “What are the long-term effects of heroin use?” says:

Repeated heroin use changes the physical structure and physiology of the brain, creating long-term imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed. Studies have shown some deterioration of the brain’s white matter due to heroin use, which may affect decision-making abilities, the ability to regulate behavior, and responses to stressful situations. Heroin also produces profound degrees of tolerance and physical dependence. Tolerance occurs when more and more of the drug is required to achieve the same effects. With physical dependence, the body adapts to the presence of the drug, and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced abruptly. (NIDA)

Long-term heroin addiction has also been linked to brain damage that is similar to Alzheimer’s Disease. Heroin causes low-grade inflammation in the brain and the buildup of proteins. Because of this, it may induce a form of dementia in some people. Some of the damage to the brain that heroin causes may be reversible so the sooner it is treated, the better chance of healing the brain an individual has.

Long-Term Effects of Heroin On The Body

Increased consumption of heroin can also cause physical deterioration. Some of the potential effects of long-term use can include:

  • Insomnia 
  • Infertility 
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Skin problems
  • Constipation 
  • Malnutrition 
  • Damaged teeth
  • Inflamed gums
  • Weakened immune system 
  • Blood or heart infections 
  • Cold sweats

Long-term use of heroin can also cause damage to the lungs. Chronic users can develop tuberculosis and Pneumonia. The liver and kidneys can also be damaged from infectious diseases caused by needle sharing. Thus, heroin can destroy a person’s overall health.

Overcome Heroin Abuse at Evoke Wellness Today!

Evoke Wellness offers a network of drug and alcohol treatment centers to assist men, women, and families throughout the United States struggling with substance abuse and searching for addiction treatment. We provide individualized care and offer a comprehensive approach to treating substance abuse. 

Our premier treatment centers in Florida and Massachusetts are dedicated to helping our clients overcome addiction. Are you ready to recover from heroin addiction? We are ready to help you! Our caring and understanding specialists are always available to take your call. 

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