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Long-Term Effects of Heroin

a woman struggles with the long term effects of heroin use

Psychoactive substances can be recreational drugs like Molly sold on the street or a highly regulated antidepressant. Many drugs developed for medical purposes are used illegally and recreationally. Pain medication is psychoactive because it treats pain by affecting the pain center within the brain. Heroin is a psychoactive opiate that has been around for 150 years. Opium, from which it derives, has been used by humans for thousands of years. The addictiveness of opiates and opioids, which are synthetic versions of the same drug, has led to many of them being discontinued for medical use. Some, like morphine and oxycodone, are still used in medical settings. All opioids can be accessed illegally, and addiction to heroin, Oxy, fentanyl, and other opioid drugs continues to be a problem.

The serious long-term effects of heroin on the human body are not enough to scare someone sober. Any addiction, by definition, is not controlled by mere choice and logic. If you live in Ohio and suffer from heroin addiction or any other opioid use disorder, consider heroin addiction treatment in Columbus at Evoke Wellness. To learn about heroin and the brain, how heroin affects the human system over time, and what recovery can look like for you, reach out today. Just dial 866.430.9267 or submit our online contact form.

Heroin and The Brain

When you hear about the effects of a drug on the body, that inevitably includes the brain—not just because the brain is part of the body but because it controls the body. Everything in it, from involuntary functions like digestion, breathing, and heartbeat to the things you are aware that your brain does for you. That includes making decisions, learning, and planning. Your brain is also in charge of your emotions, your favorite food, and whether you would rather swim, play tennis, or run.

When the brain is under the influence of heroin, it is effectively under the influence of a substance it cannot control. Heroin affects your autonomic functions, your conscious decisions, and your emotions and physical health. It does that by interacting with the endocrine system that is in control of the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, which are the things that regulate brain function. Heroin literally gets in the way of your brain’s ability to transmit messages around the body. The more heroin you take, the fewer messages get through. The longer you are addicted to heroin, the more lasting the side effects.

Long-Term Effects of Heroin

As heroin works on the vital structures of the brain, causing interruptions and inefficiencies in the brain’s work, the brain becomes ever more dependent on the drug and eventually loses the ability to:

  • Feel pleasure
  • Make decisions
  • Pay attention
  • Regulate stress

Other long-term effects of prolonged heroin abuse on the brain include:

  • Physical changes to the brain’s structures
  • Imbalance within the hormone and neural systems
  • Deterioration of the white matter in the brain, which processes and sends messages throughout the entire nervous system
  • Mental depression and anxiety that become harder to manage

Long-term health consequences not directly related to the brain are:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage

The longer someone has a heroin addiction, the more dangerous it is. In addition to all the above, the risk of overdose or overdose-related death is always high. No one knows the potency of a drug purchased on the street, nor what other substances it may be cut with. Every experience with heroin is a gamble—a gamble that addiction makes seem worth taking. But is it? If you struggle with heroin abuse, dependence, and addiction, seek help today.

Call Evoke Wellness Ohio Now to Get the Help You Deserve

No one deserves to live under the shadow of addiction. No one chooses to hand control over to a dangerous drug. But it is possible to choose life and wellness by asking for help. One simple phone call can be the beginning of a new life for you.

Reach out today to speak to one of our caring professional staff about our evidence-based treatments for heroin addiction. Just call 866.430.9267 or fill out our online contact form. We are ready to help.