Continued Heroin Abuse can cause serious and destructive effects on your body. The frequent use of injections can result in collapsed veins and increase the risk of blood-vessel infections. They may even cause infections in the heart valves. The general poor health may also lead to development of tuberculosis. Among other life-threatening diseases, heroin use can also cause arthritis in the long term.
Effects of Heroin Use
Once heroin has given you that initial rush, it is followed by unnaturally dry mouth, flushing skin, and extreme feelings. But once the rush subsides, you will mostly suffer from nausea, severe itching and vomiting. In the short term, it can cause the following physical side effects:
- Shallow breathing
- Severe sensation of itching causing compulsive scratching
- Clouded mental condition
But Heroin Abuse can also cause serious medical conditions which could also prove to be fatal. This includes:
- Heart problems
- Hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV due to infection from shared needles
- Chronic pneumonia or other lung diseases
- Liver disease
The heroin addict’s lifestyle can cause various types of health problems. For example, many of them share needles and this increases the risk of developing contagious diseases including HIV. You should also know that out of the tens of thousands of annual cases of new hepatitis C2, more than 70% are drug abusers who used needles.
Targeting your Vital Organs
It is not just the heroin and its effects that you have to worry about. The street heroin is likely to have other substances too that don’t easily dissolve. They can clog your blood vessel connected to the brain, liver, lungs and kidneys. The result can be the death of smaller number of cells in these vital organs. This can not only cause rheumatologic problems, it can also deteriorate your condition in the long-term.
It can also cause bacterial infection of the heart tissues causing tissue death, also known as endocarditis. It is not a surprise to find lung diseases in heroin abusers. Pneumonia, tuberculosis, and lung abscesses are common among them. Besides, almost 15% of patients who reach the hospital for heroin overdose die not directly from the substance but due to edema of the lungs. In this condition, the drug causes filling of the lungs with fluid.
Heroin Use & Death
Heroin addiction involves compulsive use of the drug. This cause molecular and neurochemical changes in your brain. This opiate is classified as Schedule I narcotic by the FDA and is so harmful that it is not recommended for use in any medicines. It doesn’t matter where you are a long-term user or a short-term abuser, there is a very high risk of death from heroin overdose. This is because you can never measure the dose, as the purity of the available substance cannot be measured.
The side effects of heroin use can also be compounded by the use of other substances. This includes not only alcohol but also certain medications. This can cause slow breathing, heart problems, low supply of oxygen to the brain, coma and even death.