Long term effects of heroin on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

Heroin can affect all systems of the body. What long term effects exactly? A POSTER for printing, sharing, or using in the classroom. More here.

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Long term effects of heroin on the body

Serious problems manifest in the body after chronic use of heroin. The immune system is seriously in danger and problems with the heart are common. In fact, heroin triggers acute disease in several body organs. More on how long term use of heroin affects your body here.

How heroin affects the brain

Serious effects on the brain

Long term effects of heroin on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  • addiction
  • anti-social behavior
  • delirium
  • drug cravings
  • insomnia
  • lying
  • phobias
  • secretiveness

Additional effects of heroin on the brain

  • compulsion
  • delayed verbal memory
  • disorientation
  • emotional imbalance
  • hyperactivity followed by fatigue
  • quick development of tolerance
  • unstable mood

How heroin affects the central nervous system

  • drowsiness
  • increased desire to sleep
  • lose focus
  • slurred speech
  • unable to concentrate

Possible damage to the cardiovascular system

  • blood poisoning
  • bradycardia
  • damaged veins
  • hypotension
  • increased parasympathetic activity in vasomotor center
  • reduced sympathetic activity in vasomotor center

Possible damage to the ear, nose, throat

  • lack of saliva
  • nose tissue destroyed after insufflation
  • runny nose

Possible damage to the heart

  • arrhythmia
  • atrial fibrillation
  • infection of the heart lining
  • infection of the valves
  • stroke
  • tachycardia

Possible damage to immunity

  • increased risk for HIV
  • poor nutrition
  • reduced immunity

Possible damage to the kidneys

  • chronic kidney disease
  • kidney infection

Possible damage to the liver

  • hepatitis B and C
  • liver disease

Possible damage to the lungs

  • pneumonia
  • respiratory impairment

Possible damage to the mouth

  • tooth decay

Possible damage to the nervous system

  • leg twitches

Possible damage to the skin

  • abscesses
  • excessive sweating
  • goose bumps
  • open sores
  • peripheral edema
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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