5 Worst Heroin Side Effects

5 Worst Heroin Side Effects

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: October 31, 2016

Heroin is a highly addictive, very dangerous and illegal drug that’s responsible for a shocking number of addictions, overdoses and fatalities around the world. While the list of ways heroin can damage a life is extensive, the five worst heroin side effects paint a clear picture of this devastating drug:

1. Likelihood of Addiction

No list of the worst heroin side effects would be complete without mentioning the risk of addiction. Since heroin is an opiate, many of those who try the drug just one time can end up addicted. With addiction comes a whole host of legal, physical and mental health problems. In order to break free from a heroin addiction, support is necessary. Detox, rehab and ongoing addiction treatment will be vital in order to enjoy sobriety and be able to take back control over physical and cognitive function.

2. Fatal Overdose

In 2014, 10,574 individuals in the United States died due to a heroin overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A heroin overdose is rarely something that happens after just a few times of trying the drug. Instead, it’s often the result of an increased tolerance and a desire to increase the high after long-term use.

3. Unusual Behavior

For many, one of the worst side effects of heroin is that it can change the very nature of people. Someone who is calm, kind and thoughtful can become angry, violent and prone to rapid mood swings due to a heroin addiction. Other types of unusual behavior could include:

  • Lying or being deceptive
  • Becoming isolated
  • Increased irritability
  • Chronic feelings of apathy and lethargy

4. Withdrawing From Family and Friends

While many of the worst side effects of heroin have to do with human physiology, it can also be traumatic to personal relationships. Because of heroin, many individuals begin to withdraw from family and loved ones. This could be because they want to hide the addiction, or it might be because of guilt or shame. Either way, pushing family away only continues the cycle of feeling bad, and it takes away an important support system that could help.

5. Deterioration of the Brain

Heroin use can literally damage the brain by deteriorating vital white matter. When this happens, individuals will begin to think and react differently. They may also lose their ability to make rational decisions or to handle stress. Perhaps worst of all, not all of these changes are reversible, which means that heroin addiction can eventually lead to permanent neurological damage. The worst side effects of heroin can be minimized and then eliminated by seeking professional help. Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida, offers gender responsive treatment plans to help you beat addiction for good. Call 866-704-7692 and begin the next phase of your healthier, sober life right now.