Long Term Physical Effects of Heroin That You can Prevent Today

Heroin is the most addictive street drug from the opiate family. Both the physical and psychological effects of the drug are dangerous. You can guess how dangerous it is by considering the fact that it has never been legally used to serve any medicinal purpose (unlike some other drugs). While the short term effects of the drug are no better, long term recreational use of heroin can cause disability and even death in certain cases.

Blood Vessels

Most of the long term effects of heroin are also because of the intravenous administration of the drug. Heroin can easily be injected, snorted, or smoked. However, the IV injection is what gets you the fastest euphoric rush. It only takes a few seconds after the injections when heroin hits the brain, where it changes into morphine which is a strong narcotic. The thing about the injected Heroin is that unlike other pharmaceuticals that are injected into veins for medicinal purposes, street Heroin is rarely pure.

Users who make use of needles are at a risk of injecting bacteria and other contaminants into their blood stream. This causes infections in their circulatory system. More potent heroin users suffer subcutaneous tissue infections. This way, veins actually become scarred and soon permanently damaged.


With time, tolerance and dependence become one of the biggest dangers of heroin use. Throughout this country, the percentage of people who become psychologically or physically ill is a staggering figure. When using drugs, you are undoubtedly putting your health at risk. You may think you can stop taking the substance, but once you are dependent on it, your body needs it to function.

You know that recreational use has transitioned into heroin dependence when:

  • Your tolerance threshold extends and you need higher doses of the drug to get the high you desire.
  • You experience physical withdrawal and suffer symptoms like chills, nausea, sweating, and vomiting.


Sharing needles can expose you to viral infections like HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B. Hepatitis is responsible for causing permanent damage to the liver and can also mess with the body’s function to metabolise and get rid of toxins. Hepatitis C is becoming quickly common among IV heroin users. It can cause long term harm like liver cancer, chronic weakness and fatigue, jaundice and cirrhosis of the liver. There is no cure for hepatitis C.

The Lungs

When you take heroin, everything becomes slow. Heroin slows down your nervous system and suppresses the body’s processes like respiration for one. Over time, heroin use can make you vulnerable to diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia. If you smoke heroin, it will scar the linings of the respiratory tract. To make things worse, long term heroin users will neglect their general health weakening their body further.

Long term physical effects of Heroin can go on to destroy more aspects of your life including your career, finances, and relationships that you once held close. Even then the euphoria of heroin is so great that you only realize that recovering from the drug addiction is only worth it when you enter into a rehabilitation center.