Heroin use is on the rise in the U.S., in part because of the increase in prescription opioid misuse. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs and has serious physical, mental, and social consequences. It can lead to physical dependence, death from overdose, the transmission of infectious diseases, mental health concerns like depression and anxiety, and financial distress due to its high cost.
If you or someone close to you is experiencing addiction, it is important that you understand the long-term effects of heroin and the importance of getting professional help. With over 50 years of experience, we have been identified as one of America’s “Best Addiction Treatment Centers” for the past three years, per a survey conducted by Statista in cooperation with Newsweek Magazine. To learn more about our affordable heroin rehab in Berkeley, CA, reach out to New Bridge Foundation® at 866.772.8491 today.
Is Heroin an Opioid?
Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive opioid drug. It is synthesized from morphine, which is naturally found in certain types of poppy plants.
When introduced into the body through injection, smoking, or snorting, heroin enters the bloodstream and quickly travels to the brain. Once it is in the brain, heroin binds to opioid receptors and causes a rapid rush of pleasure that fades away over time.
People may experience feelings of intense relaxation and euphoria after using heroin, but these effects don’t last long. As an individual continues to use heroin, their body will become increasingly tolerant of the drug, and they may need higher doses for the same effects. In some cases, this can lead to a dangerous overdose.
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use
Heroin use can cause a range of short-term effects that can vary in intensity depending on the particular batch and amount taken. Generally, users will experience feelings of euphoria, drowsiness, relaxation, a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and heaviness in the extremities. However, the long-term effects of heroin are damaging and are the result of chronic use over an extended period of time. These can include, but are not limited to:
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use on the Body
- Physical dependence
- Respiratory depression
- Liver and kidney damage
- Lack of concentration
- Poor coordination and balance
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, as well as hepatitis B & C)
- Depressed immune system function
- Heart disease or stroke
- Brain damage
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use on Psychological and Emotional Well-Being
- Increased risk of depression and anxiety
- Impaired memory and cognition
- Changes in personality
- Social isolation
- Decreased self-esteem
- Paranoid thinking
- Risky behavior and impulsivity
- Loss of motivation and pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Long-Term Effects of Heroin on Employment Family, and Social Life
- Increased financial burden and potential bankruptcy due to the cost of heroin
- Strained relationships with family, friends, and loved ones
- Loss of trust, communication issues, and diminished support system
- Difficulty holding down a job due to frequent absences or reduced performance resulting from drug use
- Risk of homelessness or living in unstable environments
- Legal problems related to illegal activities associated with obtaining drugs (e.g., arrests for possession/trafficking)
- Potential neglect of children’s needs while struggling with addiction
Not all of these affect every user of heroin, but if you or someone you care about is experiencing any of the above consequences of use, it is time to seek professional help in a program like the one at New Bridge Foundation® in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Learn More at New Bridge Foundation® Today
At New Bridge Foundation®, we offer a comprehensive heroin rehab program in Berkeley, CA. Our caring and knowledgeable staff is committed to helping individuals struggling with heroin addiction find the path to recovery. We believe that each person has the ability to heal and develop their own strength and resilience, and our team works hard to provide a supportive environment for positive change. Reach out to our team today at 866.772.8491 or contact us online to learn more.