Once the ‘high’ of a first heroin hit has subsided, its use becomes a necessity and the need to satisfy its cravings all-consuming.The long-term effects of heroin abuse can have very serious consequences on mental well-being, health and social life.

The direct results of heroin on the body are a slowing down of the senses, lower heart rate, a drop in blood pressure and shallow breathing.All of this can, if the drug is used over a long period, leads to serious heart and lung failure, liver disorders, pneumonia and a depressed immune system.

The body can also become used to the effects of heroin and therefore greater doses are required to achieve the same feeling of euphoria.Over a longer period of time a heroin addict’s body develops a total dependency on the drug merely to function.Although the use of heroin has a disastrous and negative effect, the body is tolerant of its presence.

The quickest way to attain a heroin rush is through injecting the drug into the blood stream; however, continued injecting of heroin into veins can cause them to collapsed.The use of the drug is often a social event, with sharing of needles and drug paraphernalia a common occurrence.This communal usage of hypodermic syringes can lead to the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis and skin infections, such as abscesses.

Continued drug use also leads to the possibility of overdose and even death. Heroin is often mixed with other chemicals, which means users with heroin addiction never know the exact composition or purity of the drug and this gives an increased risk of overdosing.