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Consequences of Heroin Abuse
Heroin has many consequences that can creep up on abusers of the drug. Those who abuse heroin may not realize how intense these consequences are until they are already upon them.
Because heroin is such an intense substance which is dangerous and highly addictive, the consequences of heroin abuse are important to know before experiencing them firsthand.
Addiction is one of the more intense consequences of heroin abuse. Someone who is abusing heroin for a considerable amount of time is only risking a higher and higher chance of getting addicted. According to the NIDA, "all three routes of administration deliver the drug to the brain very rapidly, which contributes to... its high risk for addiction." Those who become addicted to heroin are also vulnerable to:
- Dependence (both Psychological and Physical)
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Drug-Seeking Behavior
Heroin addiction claims lives, but even abusing heroin short-term can cause serious physical and health consequences.
Heroin Abuse Health Risks
Heroin abuse causes many health consequences that people do not always know about. Many individuals realize that heroin can cause respiratory depression, but the use of the drug over time may also cause problems in the gastrointestinal tract, disease of the liver and kidneys, and even infection in the heart lining (NIDA). The drug "often contains toxic contaminants or additives that can clog blood vessels," another possible consequence of abusing the drug.
Because of the many dangers of heroin abuse, people die from heroin often. It is a very risky drug and can cause health consequences that are not easy to reverse. The NLM also states that "people who inject the drug also risk contracting infectious disease, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Legal Consequences for Heroin Abuse
Many people face legal consequences as a result of their heroin abuse. People who abuse heroin chronically will often do anything to get the drug, no matter what the consequences are.
This is called drug-seeking behavior. But even someone who abuses heroin rarely might experience these types of consequences. The DOJ states that "heroin is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act."
This means that "it has a high potential for abuse" and is not accepted for treatment for medical issues. Therefore, legal actions taken against those who abuse heroin are extreme and may include prison time.
There are many other consequences of heroin abuse that include:
- Overdose which can occur even on the first use of the drug and may cause coma or death.
- Issues with friends, family members, and loved ones who want the individual to stop abusing heroin.
- Losing a job or failing classes due to the apathy that can set in as a result of regular heroin abuse.
- Dangerous behavior like engaging in unsafe sex, driving while under the influence, or other behaviors that could result from heroin abuse.
Heroin abuse can cause many consequences for a person, no matter how high the dosage or how frequently he or she takes the drug. Because heroin is so dangerous, its consequences are numerous and can strike at any time. Many people do not realize how bad the consequences of their heroin abuse are until it is too late.