How Does Heroin Affect The Body?

ways heroin affects the body

Heroin causes damage to a number of important organs, including the kidneys, intestines and brain. A heroin overdose can result in death, but those that survive could suffer from permanent brain damage.  There are a number of other effects which result from long term usage of this substance, all of which are debilitating to both the mind and body.

How Heroin Affects The Brain

Heroin reduces the amount of oxygen that can reach the brain. This results in brain damage which is akin to those who have had severe head injuries. University studies have been conducted in which autopsies were performed on the brains of heroin users, and the results indicated that although none of these users showed signs of head injury their brain matter displayed signs of damage which was almost identical. Additionally, the autopsied brains showed signs of Alzheimer’s disease, although most of the deceased were under the age of 30.

The oxygen deprivation which results from heroin use causes a cognitive decline overall.  This occurs regardless of the dosage that the user employs, and within 30 minutes of consumption the user will experience reduced blood oxygen levels that will cause damage to both the brain and other organs and continued usage will only make the situation worse.

How Heroin Affects The Intestines

Heroin negatively impacts the muscles which are found in the intestines. Because these muscles must be used for bowel movements, heroin users may find themselves suffering from frequent constipation, which can result in anal fissures, hemorrhoids or rectal damage that may necessitate surgical intervention. Problems with bowel movements can also lead to ruptures, and many addicts will attempt withdrawing from heroin briefly so that their bowels can begin working enough to where they can remove wastes from their bodies via diarrhea.

How Heroin Affects The Kidneys

A connection has been found between heroin usage and increased protein levels within the urine. The exact nature of this connection is not fully known, but high protein levels may result in kidney failure.Heroin along with other street drugs is often comprised of contaminants, toxins and bacteria which are used to dilute the substance to reduce processing costs. These contaminants can result in all sorts of adverse effects on the kidneys and other organs.

Survivors of heroin overdoses will sometimes end up in a coma. When they do their muscles will have to support the weight of a body that doesn’t move, and will start to deteriorate. The technical name for this phenomenon is rhabomyolysis. As the muscles continue to break down they will release chemicals which will severely damage the kidneys, and if and when the patient recovers from their coma they will be required to undergo dialysis and could need a kidney transplant.

As you can see, the usage of heroin can lead to a number of life threatening conditions. It causes the spread of disease, cognitive problems and many other psychological issues. Its usage can lead to irreparable damage to both the mind and body.

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