Long-Term Effects of Opioids

Opioids – Summary of Short and Long-Term Effects

long-term effects of opioids pic

Opioids are incredibly addicting and carry a huge risk for abuse and dependency. What’s more, long-term effects of opioids can seriously impact and harm nearly every system in the human body. It’s important to understand how these powerful substances can cause life-threatening impacts to an individual’s physical wellbeing and entire life.

What Are The Short-Term Effects of Opioids? 

Short-term effects include:

  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation

These can quickly lead to dangerous long-term effects, including opioid dependence, tolerance, and addiction.

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Opioids?

The persistent use of opioids can lead to many long-term effects, including opioid dependency and abuse. Many individuals struggling with opioid use disorder may find they withdraw from regular commitments resulting in impacts on emotional, family, social, and work life.

There are also may be physical long-term effects of opioids, including:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal bloating and distention
  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage due to respiratory depression and decreased oxygen to the tissue (or hypoxia)
  • Development and opioid tolerance
  • Opioid dependence

Long-Term Effects of Opioids on Your Entire Body

Long-term opioid use and opioid dependency can impact nearly every major system of your body.

Here’s an overview of how each system is impacted and threatened as a result of long-term opioid use:

  • Blood: Heroin or crushed opioid pill injections can cause veins to collapse
  • Heart: Heroin or crush opioid pill injections can result in contamination and infections of the heart lining.
  • Brain: Opioid use can cause brain sedation.
  • Lungs: Opioid use can cause respiratory depression and slowed breathing, which can be fatal.
  • Digestive System: Opioid use can slow the digestive system, resulting in constipation.
  • Liver: Shared contaminated needles can cause hepatitis.
  • Nervous System: Long-term opioid use can lead to a greater sensitivity to pain.
  • Immune System: Reduced immune response can cause immune vulnerability and infection.

Effects of Injection Opioid Use

Many people suffering from opioid use disorder may progress to injections of heroin or crushed opioid pills. Since the body is not equipped to handle this level of substance in the bloodstream, this can lead to serious side effects, including:

  • Heart problems and infections
  • Pulmonary embolisms
  • Gangrene in infected injection sites
  • Blood infections
  • Viral hepatitis
  • HIV due to contaminated needles

Opioid Treatment Centers

long-term effects of opioids treatment picThere are many treatment options available for those struggling with opioid use disorder. Finding a treatment solution that targets an individual’s specific area of need is key. We are here to help you find your way to long-term recovery.

We Are Here To Help. Call Us Now.

Please call or email to take the first step to recovery.