Long Term Effects of Opiate Abuse: Tolerance and Dependence
From pain-killers to street drugs opiate abuse is a growing issue today. The long term effects of opiate abuse are not only debilitating, but life threatening. One thing that increases the severity of any long term effects of Opiate abuse is that a person is likely to develop a physical and/or mental addiction as the use of opiates progresses.
The long term effects of opiate abuse on your body makes it so the body becomes dependent upon receiving this substance to carry out many functions that are essential to growth and health like creating feelings of happiness, pain management, maintaining consistent breathing, and other important bodily functions. The human body naturally performs these basic functions, but with the long term effects of opiate abuse the drug is used to manage these functions, and it confuses the body into relying on the drug, mistaking the opiate as a part of the body’s natural chemical make-up. This is why severe physical withdrawal symptoms can occur as part of the long term effect of Opiate abuse. Your body adapts and begins to think that it actually needs the drug to survive – which isn’t the case by any means.
Long Term Effects of Opiate Abuse: Health Risks
The long term effects of opiate abuse are not limited to the tolerance and addiction to the substance. The long term effects of Opiate abuse include many physical symptoms that can create some severe medical issues as prolonged use of the drug continues. The most common long term effects of opiate abuse include:
- Suppression of the immune system
- Possible heart and liver problems
- Frequent and severe constipation
- Collapsed or scarred veins
- Contracting an infectious disease like HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B due to needle sharing
- Bacterial infection
- Abscesses (boils)
- Infection of heart lining and valves
- Clogged blood vessels
- Blood borne viruses
- Cell death in vital organs
- Brain damage
- Other severe withdrawal symptoms when the long-term user stops using
Long term effects of opiate abuse can also create other chronic health conditions such as:
- Opioid Endocrinopathy- symptoms that include decreased libido and possible infertility, anxiety, loss of muscle strength and mass, irregular menstruation and an increased risk of osteoporosis
- Opioid-induced Hyperalgesia- a condition that makes patients more sensitive to pain
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
Long Term Effects of Opiate Abuse: Successfully Treating Symptoms
The detoxification of the body can help you reset your natural functions and get the organs and other systems working the way they are supposed to without that dependency on opiates. Long term effects of opiate abuse also create an impaired mental functioning, and because of this most addicts believe they can stop taking the drug and beat the addiction themselves. Unfortunately this is rarely ever possible.
To successfully detox and recover from the long term effects of opiate abuse it is typically suggested that a person suffering with substance abuse complete a rehabilitation treatment program with a trained on-site medical staff. This gives most addicts best chance to overcome their addiction and physical dependency, while keeping an eye on the health risks pertaining to long term effects of opiate abuse.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135