The long term effects from heroin use can be devastating, especially if the heroin addict continues to abuse the drug without seeking help. Over time, the cycle of repeated using can have a number of consequences in several different areas. For example, heroin addiction can affect people physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
What are the Long Term Effects of Heroin Use?
There are a number of long term effects of addiction to heroin. Over a lengthy period of time, heroin addicts can develop a number of physical problems, including infections and collapsed veins. They can also suffer from nasty abscesses on their skin, as well as developing liver disease and pulmonary problems. Because heroin depresses the system so much, many will have some sort of breathing or lung problems if they continue doing heroin.
Heroin addicts eventually start to lose weight, as a general rule, and proper nutrition and exercise fall by the wayside. Instead of gaining weight from lack of activity, the addict normally loses weight due to poor eating habits. Becoming more susceptible to other illnesses is quite common as well, strictly as one of the side effects of heroin use and poor nutritional habits.
From a chemical standpoint, the body loses its ability to manage small amounts of pain or discomfort due to general fatigue or exercise. This is due to the constant onslaught of opiates being artificially pumped into the body. Essentially what happens is that the body shuts down production of its own dopamine reserves, and thus the experience in early recovery or the heroin detox period is especially difficult. It can take months or even years for the body to resume normal dopamine production.
Psychological Long Term Effects of Heroin Addiction
The long term heroin effects are not limited to physical ailments, though these are bad enough. The typical heroin addict will start to rely on the drug to medicate their feelings, and this will result in a drop in emotional maturity over time. The addict can not “handle anything” without resorting to their drug of choice anymore. The heroin high becomes an emotional crutch that is needed to handle any amount of stress, whether large or small.
Long Term Effects of Heroin Abuse on Social Life
At first, heroin addicts remain social and continue to associate with others, only with their secret habit hidden from view. But this changes over time as they become more and more withdrawn from their usual social circles, and they start to shift their time to spending more of it isolated or with other heroin users. Becoming dependent on the drug quickly changes how the addict spends their time, and this has enormous social implications.
Heroin Long Term Effects on Spirituality
Any heroin addict who has been abusing the drug for several years can testify to the fact that it separates them from their spiritual roots. Regardless of a person’s beliefs or convictions, they are always replaced by chasing the next high and a general worship for this dangerous substance that has come to dominate their life. You cannot give yourself to spiritual pursuit while chasing a chemical high every day; the two are simply not compatible. Even those who do not have a clearly defined spirituality can see that regularly using heroin robs them of an inspired lifestyle.