It is undisputed: there are no positive health effects derived from heroin use. In fact, heroin is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance and is not available by prescription or for medical use. Heroin is illegal, which means that heroin production and distribution is completely uncontrolled. Every bag you buy is completely different from the last because it is cut differently and has a different potency. This means that even the most seasoned heroin addicts end up in the hospital or dead due to heroin overdose.
From beginning to end, heroin is bad. Why is heroin bad for you? Read on to learn more.
Health Conditions Associated with Heroin
There are a number of bad health effects of heroin. Infectious, blood-borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C are especially common among those who are regularly injecting heroin using needles and share those needles with other users. Those who use needles intravenously also will experience collapsed veins and those who use intramuscularly are more likely to develop abscesses. Infections of the heart lining and valves is also a common issue among needle users, and even those who smoke or snort the drug open themselves up to kidney and liver failure and respiratory illnesses. The decreased defenses and overall health of a heroin addict means an increased rate of illnesses like pneumonia and permanent damage to vital organs.
Deaths due to heroin overdose or to a fetus through spontaneous abortion are also common among heroin addicts.
After a relatively short time of regular heroin use, addiction to heroin develops. When your body comes to expect that you will continue to put more heroin in it regularly, your chemical makeup is altered. Should you stop taking the drug suddenly, you will experience heroin withdrawal symptoms that may include muscle and bone pain, cramping and vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats, fatigue with insomnia, and involuntary leg and muscle twitches.
Cravings for the drug are intense as well and last long after the withdrawal symptoms of heroin finally pass. They are often blamed for relapse during heroin detox and heroin addiction treatment.
All of these withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few hours of missing a dose and last for weeks and, in some cases, linger for months. Though you may feel like you are dying, the withdrawal from heroin is considered to be medically less severe than with alcohol, prescription medications, and other hard drugs, but if your health is diminished after years of addiction and/ or you are living with co-occurring medical disorders, heroin detoxification can be fatal without medical assistance.