Heroin is a drug made from morphine, a natural substance in the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Heroin can be injected, smoked or snorted. Heroin abuse is a serious problem in the United States. Major health problems from heroin include miscarriages, heart infections and death from overdose. People who inject the drug also risk infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Regular use of heroin can lead to tolerance. This means users need more and more drug to have the same effect. At higher doses over time, the body becomes dependent on heroin. If dependent users stop heroin, they have withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea, vomiting and cold flashes.
Snorting, smoking or injecting heroin just once is bad enough, but using the drug repeatedly over an extended period of time creates a number of serious physical and psychological problems.
One of the most common, and serious, health problems associated with long term heroin use is heart disease. The drug creates and infections and malfunctions in the areas surrounding the heart which, consequently, can lead to a high incidence of heart failure and pulmonary complications. Especially susceptible are those with a family history of heart disease.
Kidney failure occurs after prolonged stress on the system due to heroin use. Loss of a function kidney puts the heroin user at greater risk of serious illness or death. Kidney disease is one of the less talked about consequences of heroin use, but remains a great risk for those who use the drug over months and years.
Those who inject heroin into their veins using a syringe need to be VERY careful. Sharing needles with other users is the quickest way to contract HIV (which can lead to full-blown AIDS) or Hepatitis B or C. This is a very serious problem. Studies have shown that high percentages of HIV and Hepatitis cases come from shared needle use.
Heroin use affects the immune system, and consequently, the body’s ability to fight disease. Combine that with the generally unhealthy lifestyle of the long term heroin user and you’ve got a breeding ground for serious viral illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.
If you use heroin and want to avoid any of these long term effects, then today is your lucky day. Above It All Treatment and Recovery Center can set you up on a program designed for you to break your addiction and lead a drug free life. Contact us today to begin your relapse free recovery.