Medical Conditions Associated With Heroin Addiction

It's no secret that an addiction to heroin causes a lot of problems.

It can land you in jail – both because of the legal risks of possessing and procuring the drug, and from the things you might need to do just to fund your habit. Heroin addiction can erode relationships with family and friends and leave you unable to work, and it can kill you in a heartbeat at any time.

There is no shortage of solid reasons to quit using heroin, but in addition to the aforementioned consequences of use, chronic heroin use is also associated with a host of serious or fatal medical conditions -- and the longer you use heroin, the greater your risks of medical complications from that use.

Here's the truth: You don't have to use heroin, and you've probably thought on many occasions of trying to quit. Thoughts of withdrawal can be scary, but there are medications (such as methadone or Suboxone) that help you overcome your heroin addiction without the pain of withdrawal.

Medical Conditions Associated with Heroin Use

  • HIV – The infection rates for intravenous (IV) heroin users far exceed infection rates in the general population. The sharing of needles or other injection gear or unsafe sex between addicts greatly increases the likelihood of HIV exposure.
  • Hepatitis C – There are few places in North America where the Hepatitis C infection rate among IV drug users is less than 50 percent -- and in many locations, infection rates climb to as high as 75 percent. Hepatitis C is far more easily contracted than HIV and can lead to fatal conditions such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.
  • Pneumonia – Heroin users run an increased risk of pneumonia because of heroin's depressive effects on respiration, and the generally lower health and diminished immune systems of heroin users.
  • Skin Abscesses – Unclean injection procedures can introduce bacteria under the skin. These bacteria can lead to pus- and blood-filled skin abscesses that, if left untreated, can cause gangrene, or even death.
  • Endocarditis – Dirty needles can cause blood infections and heart infections. Endocarditis can lead to irregular heartbeat, heart disease and heart failure.
  • Cell death in vital organs – The "filler" substances that are often added to street heroin can clog blood vessels. Clogged blood vessels can lead to cell death in vital organs of the body.
  • Blood clots – The impurities that constitute most of what heroin users inject into their bodies can lead to blood clots, which can result in stroke or heart attack.
  • Collapsed veins – Frequent injections lead to scarring inside the veins, which increases the risk of vein collapse.

Heroin Use Shortens Life

If you continue to use heroin the odds are high that heroin will shorten your lifespan. But you don't have to keep using heroin. Treatments such as those that incorporate methadone or Suboxone are both affordable and effective, and can help you get back on the path toward a much more satisfying future.

Start taking better care of yourself today ,and look forward to a longer, healthier, and happier life. Any questions you may have about opiate addiction treatments in your area can be answered by treatment specialists at the National Resource Center, who are available for a free, confidential consultation at 888-471-0430.

Heroin DetoxOxycontin Drug AddictionDrug Rehab ProgramRehab ProgramsOxycontin Diversion and AbuseSober Living Prescription Drug Abuse HelpAlcohol TreatmentOxycontin Abuse TreatmentAlcohol Treatment CentersTexas Drug RehabsAlcohol AddictionsRehabilitation CentersResidential Treatment ProgramsDrugs and Alcohol Addiction Help
Cocaine AddictionAlcoholism TreatmentGetting Help With AddictionAlcohol AbuseDrug Addiction Treatment

Find a TherapistDrug Rehab Programs 

Drug Treatment Center

The information provided on the Heroin Detox web site is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Heroin Detox web site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Heroin Detox contains advertisements and links to third party websites. Heroin Detox does not make any representation, warranty, or endorsement of any product or service or the content or accuracy of any materials contained in, or linked to, any advertisement or link on the Site
Call Us Toll Free at 888.471.0430 for Help
© 2001-2007 Heroin Detox