The Health Effects Of Heroin

Back

As with most illegal drugs, heroin use has both short-term and long-term effects. Whether injected, snorted or smoked, heroin will begin to affect the body's central nervous system almost immediately after it is used.


Short-Term Effects

 

Shortly after using, a feeling of euphoria will come over users, in which they have a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth and the feeling of having "heavy" arms and legs. After the initial rush, users will go into an alternately wakeful and drowsy state sometimes called "on the nod."

Because heroin suppresses the central nervous system, the user experiences "cloudy" mental function. Users will begin to breathe at a slower rate and their breathing can reach a point of respiratory failure.


Long-Term Effects

 

Repeated and chronic heroin users who fail to use sterile technique or share equipment will begin to experience the long-term effects of such practices:

  • -Infection of the heart lining and valves, normally due to lack of sterile technique.
  • -Liver disease - approximately 70-80% of new hepatitis C infections in the U.S. each year are the result of injection drug use, and even sharing snorting straws has been linked to hepatitis transmission.
  • -Kidney disease.
  • -Pulmonary complications, which are often infection related
  • -Skin infections and abscesses, especially among chronic injectors who suffer scarred or collapsed veins

In addition to the risk of contracting the hepatitis virus, heroin users also have an increased risk of catching human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other blood-borne viruses.

In addition to other effects as:

  • -Bad teeth
  • -Inflammation of the gums
  • -Constipation
  • -Cold sweats
  • -Itching
  • -Weakening of the immune system
  • -Coma
  • -Respiratory (breathing) illnesses
  • -Muscular weakness, partial paralysis
  • -Reduced sexual capacity and long-term impotence in men
  • -Menstrual disturbance in women
  • -Inability to achieve orgasm (women and men)
  • -Loss of memory and intellectual performance
  • -Depression
  • -Loss of appetite
  • -Insomnia


View as PDF


Back


The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.

www.haveigotaproblem.com was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)

Quotes

"Then one day I took the jump and asked for my first hit, this was the biggest mistake of my life."

Jordan

MoreSend us your Quotes

Tips & Hints

  • Learn healthy ways to cope with problems

    Even once you’ve recovered from drug addiction, you’ll still have to face the issues that led to your drug problems in the first pl...
    More
  • Don’t let relapse keep you down

    Relapse is a common part of the recovery process from drug addiction. While relapse is understandably frustrating and discouraging, it ...
    More
  • Seek support from your family

    Your family needs to be involved in your journey to fight your addiction. Only you can accomplish this important task, but you need to ...
    More
  • No more secrets

    It’s time to clean out the closet and take inventory. No hiding because of shame. No hiding because of fear. You are not alone in you...
    More
  • Regain Power

    Many addictions are undermined because we believe we are powerless to change the situation. This is not true! You do have the power to ...
    More
  • More Tips & Hints