Those who use heroin long-term often do serious and irreparable damage to their gastrointestinal systems, and suffer from constipation for years after ceasing use and getting clean.
Those who use the drug intravenously are liable to experience collapsed veins from injecting the drug repeatedly into the same part of the body.
Those who use heroin intravenously are prone to abscesses and infections, causing permanent damage to the skin (scarring, etc.).
Infections of the heart valves and lining are very common.
In time, the kidneys can no longer break down and process basic compounds. Every drug ingested will pass through your kidneys.
- Greatly reduced sex drive
Those who are addicted to heroin often prioritize obtaining and using the drug over base human needs and functions, like eating, sleeping, seeking shelter and having sex.
- Problems with pregnancies including miscarriage
Infertility is also common amongst heroin users. Sadly, many babies are born already addicted to the chemical substance.
- Deterioration of brain tissue
Over time, the white tissue in the brain will collapse and deteriorate, leading to serious and permanent mental health conditions.
- Hepatitis (common among intravenous users)
In some cases hepatitis can lead to liver disease, which can be fatal if left untreated for any length of time.
Using drugs intravenously and sharing needles can lead to the contraction of life-threatening diseases like HIV. Because those who are addicted to heroin are typically so physically dependent on the drug, they rarely practice safe usage and take what they can get – even if all they can get is a used syringe.
Other Long-Terms Effects
Continuous misuse of heroin can lead to a wide range of other effects, some behavioral, some mental, and some to do with the accumulation of severe interpersonal consequences. Of these, a few common long-term effects are:
Those who abuse heroin for an extended period of time will often turn to illicit activities (like theft) in order to support their habit. Not to mention, heroin itself is an illicit substance, and many heroin addicts are incarcerated for possession.
Those in the throes of heroin addiction typically spend all of their savings on their drug of choice – most heroin addicts who enter into recovery find themselves with nothing. Fortunately, it is possible to gain everything back.
- Problems in relationships
Interpersonal relationships, especially within the immediate family, will undeniably suffer immensely. Again, these relationships can be repaired over time once an addict enters into recovery.
- A lack of motivation, leading to missed opportunities and self-destructive behaviors
The development of mental health conditions, such as depression. Depression is very common among newly sober heroin addicts. For this reason, Pine Tree Recovery Center has licensed psychiatrists on staff to help alleviate symptoms of depression using safe, non-habit forming medications.