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What Are the Side Effects of Heroin? 

woman looking out of window wonders about heroin side effects

Heroin is a dangerous drug, and treating an addiction to heroin should be taken very seriously. Using the drug wreaks havoc on one’s physical and cognitive health, and it is also very difficult to stop using the drug once addiction has set in. Enrolling in a heroin addiction treatment program will provide the greatest chance for a successful recovery. Statistics show that trying to detox from heroin on your own has a high rate of relapse. Having the right tools, resources, and professional staff to help you through the process will ensure that your treatment and recovery work for you.

Even with treatment and recovery, there can be lasting effects of heroin use. Learn more about heroin abuse treatment and what both the short and long-term heroin side effects can look like by contacting Virtue Recovery Chandler today at 866.788.4745 or online. A treatment team member is standing by to answer any questions you have.

Heroin Side Effects

There are many side effects of using heroin. Some are immediate, some develop over time, and others are long-lasting.

Immediate Side Effects

Some effects happen when actively using heroin, such as:

  • Injecting the drug intravenously with a non-sterile needle can cause an infection where it is injected
  • Smoking or taking the drug orally can cause serious lung and digestive issues
  • There are also risks of reactions to other drugs or substances that get mixed in with heroin unknowingly, like fentanyl

Short-Term Side Effects

Some effects happen directly following taking the drug, such as:

  • Numbness from pain
  • A state of unconsciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dulled senses
  • Hindered breathing

Long-Term Side Effects

Some effects are more long-term following prolonged use of the drug. These can affect both physical and cognitive abilities and include:

  • Lung issues
  • Infections in both tissue and blood
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Severe constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Issues with sexual performance
  • Menstruation issues in women
  • Memory loss issues
  • Compromised critical thinking
  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Developing poor decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Trouble managing stress
  • Inability to control impulses

Heroin use can have life-long and even deadly consequences, but it is not recommended that an individual attempt to quit on their own. Seeking professional help and treatment is the best option for overcoming heroin addiction.

Getting Help for Addiction Through Heroin Abuse Treatment

For those using heroin, the risk of an overdose is high. This is why seeking help for an addiction as soon as possible is so important. The physical and psychological dependence that takes hold as a result of becoming addicted can lead to a fatal outcome. There are different levels of treatment available to overcome an addiction. Outpatient programming is beneficial for those not needing 24/7 care or as a next step following residential care.

While heroin use is dangerous, stopping the use of the drug can also be dangerous. The side effects of withdrawal are severe and best managed with the help of a professional program and the accompanying team. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Sore muscles
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cravings
  • Drastic changes in appetite
  • Weight loss or gain

Treatment programs can be customized with a combination of therapeutic modalities like group and individual therapies, behavioral therapies, and experiential therapies.

Call Virtue Recovery Chandler for Heroin Abuse Treatment

Prolonged drug use increases the side effects of heroin and makes it harder to recover from an addiction. Don’t delay in getting the help you—or a loved one—need to live a healthier life free from drugs and alcohol. Virtue Recovery Chandler offers outpatient substance use disorder treatment programs that are flexible to work with each individual’s unique needs and schedules.

Contact the professional treatment team at Virtue Recovery Chandler today at 866.788.4745 or reach out to us online to learn more about treatment options. A heroin addiction can be successfully treated, and our team is here to help.