It goes without saying that over time, heroin and other opiates can take a serious physical toll on a person’s body. This is partly why there is so much emphasis on early intervention and preventative measures to treat heroin addiction. The long-term effects of heroin use can alter brain functioning, cause negative behaviors, and cause a variety of severe physical issues if substance abuse is not ceased and if health issues go untreated. If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin abuse, we encourage you to reach out to the professional at Fresh Start Recovery Center today at 833.625.0398 to speak with a trained representative who can assist you in finding a treatment plan that works for your particular circumstances.
Know the Signs of Heroin Use
If someone is using heroin, there are a number of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms they may be showing. It’s important to be aware of these signs not just in someone who has occasionally misused substances but also in individuals who are in recovery as they remain at risk for relapse.
A few of the symptoms of heroin use may include:
- Sores on lips and around nostrils
- Burn marks on fingers or mouth
- Marks at the injection site
- Increased insistence on privacy
- Becoming isolated and withdrawn
- Deceptive activity
- Sudden weight loss
- Problems with coordination
- Flu-like symptoms
Long-Term Effects of Heroin on Your Body
If heroin is used over a long period of time, a person’s body begins to break down in a number of ways. An immediate concern always remains the possibility of overdose. This is especially worrisome now that fentanyl and related synthetic opiates are more commonly obtained on the street than heroin. These synthetic opiates are far stronger and result in a much higher chance of overdose.
Long-term use of heroin is known to cause sexual dysfunction, skin infections (which may appear in the form of open wounds called abscesses), immune issues such as arthritis, a damaged nasal passageway as a result of snorting heroin, collapsed veins as a result of injecting heroin, and other serious conditions that can require emergency medical attention.
If medical issues remain untreated, a person who abuses heroin is at risk for mental health issues that can lead to suicidal ideation and a sense of hopelessness, heart infections, blood infections, lung issues, and other severe complications.
Common Effects of Long-Term Heroin Use on the Mind and Body
There are a number of common effects of prolonged use of heroin that may become obvious. These can include:
- Problems making rational decisions
- Weakened immune system
- Sleep issues
- Respiratory issues
- Brain damage
- Liver or kidney disease
There are some very real and troubling physical changes that can happen to an individual who has used heroin for a long period of time. Your complexion can change, you may experience extreme weight loss, rotting teeth or losing teeth is common, skin pockmarks may appear in various areas on your body including your face, and the list goes on.
Contact Fresh Start Recovery Center About Treatment for Long-Term Heroin Use
It’s essential to remember that there is always the possibility for recovery. Even after someone has used drugs like heroin for long periods of time or has experienced relapses, they are still able to get clean, re-enter society, and find happiness in a sober lifestyle.
12-step programs are especially effective with opiate addictions such as heroin abuse. Medication management can include the use of methadone, Suboxone, and naltrexone. Mental health counseling combined with treatments for physical rehabilitation can help get a person’s mind and body back to a point where they can make rational choices towards moving forward with their life.
Reach out to the experts at Fresh Start Recovery Center today at 833.625.0398 to speak with a trained representative who can help guide you on the right path for your and your loved ones.