Heroin is a very addictive drug that can be extremely challenging to withdraw from because of the fact that a person who is withdrawing from heroin addiction may experience extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations.
Heroin withdrawal may cause a person to experience things like nausea, headaches, vomiting, insomnia, and anxiety to name just a few. It is generally recommended that an addict does not attempt to withdraw from heroin on their own, but rather does so with the support of a treatment team that can provide the medical and psychological tools necessary to get an addict all the way through the withdrawal process.
Although heroin is one of the most difficult drugs to stop using, it is absolutely necessary that a person who is addicted to heroin get the help they need to get clean. Even if an addict is lucky enough to avoid a serious overdose, using heroin can cause major long term damage to their body.
Long Term Damage Caused By Heroin Use
A person who uses heroin may be subjecting themselves to a number of serious and possibly lethal injuries. Those who inject the drug can cause major damage to their veins, perhaps causing the veins to collapse, and thus causing major damage to the circulatory and cardiovascular systems.
The use of heroin can cause major damage to all aspects of the cardiovascular system and may lead to infections in the blood vessels and heart valves, which are both issues that can lead to serious risks for major long term problems with heart functioning and may put a person at risk for heart attacks or heart disease.
Heroin Users at High Risk For Certain Disease
Heroin is such a potent drug that it can cause general damage to the entire body and immune system and leave a user at a very high risk for diseases like tuberculosis. The nature of heroin use itself also puts users at a high risk for other diseases that may be transmitted through exchange of bodily fluids.
Many people who use heroin inject the drug and are often in situations where they may share needles with a number of other users, all of whom are in a population of people who have a higher probability of having diseases like Hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS.
Diseases like these may often be treated but not cured and can remain with a person for the rest of their lives. As many as 70% of all cases in the United States each year may be attributed to heroin use.
Other Long Term Effects
A user does not necessarily have to contract a disease or virus to have their body permanently damaged by heroin use.
Other long term or permanent side effects of heroin use may include severe damage to teeth, a permanently weakened immune system, loss of cognitive function, severe damage to skin and pustules on the face, and muscular weakness that may become so severe that it becomes paralysis.
Hope With Treatment
The sooner a heroin addict seeks treatment and finds their way to a healthy life, the higher their chances are for sustaining minimal damage because of their addiction. Heroin is such a dangerous drug that it is truly unclear how long a person may use before sustaining irreversible damage.
It is also very likely that a person who uses heroin will eventually overdose, which can be fatal. Any person who is addicted to heroin can, however, hope to find a healthy and safe life if they are ready to do the work and seek the treatment they need to stop using for good.