Long term effects of heroin addiction (INFOGRAPHIC)

Repeated heroin use changes the physical structure and physiology of the brain. More here on the side effects from long-term heroin use, which aren’t only health-related.

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Using heroin long term affects ALL aspects of life

In this infographic we present the side effects from long-term heroin use, which aren’t only health-related. People who are addicted to heroin can face:

  • brain, lungs, liver and heart damage
  • compromised values or internal guiding principles
  • compromised immune system and infection susceptibility
  • destroyed interpersonal relations
  • job loss and unemployment
  • infertility and loss of sex drive for both men and women
  • intense sadness and depression
  • suicidal thoughts and/or actions

Repeated heroin use and addiction

Repeated heroin use can also change the physical structure and physiology of the brain. Heroin creates long-term imbalances in the function of neurons and hormones, which are not easily reversed. Further, repeated use of heroin often results in addiction. Heroin addiction is characterized by:

Long term effects of heroin addiction (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  1. compulsive use
  2. uncontrollable drug-seeking behavior (no matter the consequences)
  3. chronic relapsing that goes beyond physical dependence

Long term heroin use: Tolerance and dependence

Heroin produces profound degrees of tolerance and physical dependence in users. Tolerance occurs when more and more of the drug is required to achieve the same effects. On the other hand, physical dependence is associated with the body adapting to the presence of the drug and the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms if use is reduced or stopped abruptly.

Questions about long term use of heroin

As this infographic shows, heroin affects every single aspect of a user’s life, plus it affects the lives of family, friends and loved ones.

If you or someone you know is abusing heroin, remember that it’s never too late to seek help. If there’s something you’d like to ask or add, we welcome your comments and questions in the section below. We try to provide personal and prompt response to all legitimate inquiries.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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