While heroin can easily hook a person, symptoms and side effects can become the ultimate danger to all who uses the drug. Following are the three aspects of heroin use – immediate, secondary and long term are the heroin symptoms addicts can expect as they continue to use the drug.


First-time and seasoned heroin users will experience some immediate discomfort as their bodies adjust to the drug’s potency. Those heroin symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Dry Mouth


The next round of heroin symptoms can be delayed depending upon the user’s familiarity with the drug as well as the drug’s potency.

At this point, the body slows down and becomes less alert due to the calming effects of heroin. These heroin symptoms include:

  • Feeling drowsy and sleepy for several hours
  • Having a foggy mental state
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Nodding off, in which the user experiences periods of sleep and wakefulness.


Long-term heroin symptoms involve use of the drug over an extended period of time.

  • Weight loss
  • A disheveled appearance
  • Trouble focusing, especially during periods of no use
  • Needle marks and bruising at the points of injection for intravenous users
  • Skin deformation such as abscesses and infections
  • Collapsed veins from repeated injections
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney and liver disorders

Because a heroin addict’s lifespan isn’t expected to be as long as someone who isn’t addicted to the drug, some concerns that can affect people who aren’t using are not considered for heroin addicts.

Nonetheless, these concerns are worth mentioning, particularly for addicts who want to get clean and have a productive life. These concerns include:

  • Heroin abuse often leads toward unwanted social effects like troubled relationships, being fired from work, financial worries and legal issues.

Heroin use is also linked to many long-term health consequences that can severely limit a person’s lifespan. Those include:

  • Increased risk of infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
  • Persistent mental health issues such as depression and personality changes
  • Reproductive issues like sexual dysfunction and inconsistent menstrual cycles
  • If one snorts heroin, that person can cause long-term damage to their septum and nose tissues

Women who use heroin while pregnant are more susceptible to miscarriages and low birth weight.

In other cases, children can be born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a condition in which a child is born dependent on the substance their mother is using. To come clean, the baby has to endure withdrawal effects similar to adult addicts.

If you feel you or a loved one has an issue with heroin, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.