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Understanding the Dangers of Heroin Effects

Every woman should understand the dangers of heroin effects. Whether you are abusing heroin or not, there may be someone important in your life who is, or you may be able to help someone who is abusing heroin. The NIDA states, “In 2011, 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 1.6 percent) had used heroin at least once in their lives.” Knowing the dangers and effects of the drug could save your or someone else’s life.

Physical Effects of Heroin

Heroin has many dangerous physical effects that can result in hospitalization or even death. Some of the main physical effects of heroin abuse are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea

These symptoms often occur in someone who is currently intoxicated or abusing the drug, but heroin abuse can cause long-term physical problems. CESAR states, “Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses (pus-filled infections), liver disease, and lung-related complications such as pneumonia.”

How Heroin Affects the Brain

As stated by the NIDA Teen, “regular heroin use changes the functioning of the brain.” Heroin use changes the way a person’s mind works. This can result in:

  • Tolerance
  • Dependence
  • Withdrawal
  • Addiction

All of these issues can become dangerous in their own way, and the initial changes made to the brain help facilitate addiction. When a woman becomes tolerant to the initial dosage of heroin, she will take more of the drug in order to feel the high, leading to addiction.


Heroin abuse often results in overdose. The NIH states that “people who might be overdosing should be taken to the emergency room immediately,” as heroin overdose can result in death. Heroin users are not safe from the consequence of overdose, whether they are taking the drug for the first time or if they are taking it after addiction treatment. In fact, this is when a person is most in danger of a fatal heroin overdose (NLM).

Other Effects

heroin dangers

Heroin abuse all too often lead to addiction, death by overdose, and other terrible consequences.

According to the NIDA, “Heroin abuse is associated with a number of serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV.”

Many people who abuse heroin contract HIV and other diseases from sharing needles. Hepatitis C is “the most common blood-borne infection in the United States,” and these diseases can not only be spread through sharing needles but from unprotected sex that is sometimes the consequence of poor judgement caused by heroin use.

Heroin can cause people to behave dangerously in other ways as well. Those who become addicted to heroin will exhibit drug-seeking behavior, a condition that makes abusers do anything in order to get more of the drug. This can include a user putting herself in a dangerous situation, doing something illegal or risky in order to obtain more of the drug, or other problematic actions which can lead to users becoming arrested or killed.

Heroin has many dangerous effects that can lead to death, disease, and other devastating results. The drug causes a high that lasts for a short time, but a woman who is abusing heroin could be affected by it for the rest of her life.

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