Does Opiate Abuse Have Permanent Side Effects?

Does Opiate Abuse Have Permanent Side Effects?

Does Opiate Abuse Have Permanent Side Effects?

Opiate abuse is a problem that affects many people worldwide. The statistics are mindboggling; estimates have shown between 26 million and 36 million people abuse opiates.[1] Some of the opiates commonly abused include drugs such as heroin, morphine, Percocet or OxyContin. All opiates have the potential to be addictive. For this reason prescription opiates are considered a Schedule II drug meaning it has a high potential for abuse according to the Controlled Substances Act.[2] Please do not make the mistake of thinking you are immune to the potentially devastating consequences of opiate abuse.

Permanent Side Effects of Opiate Abuse

Opiate abuse harms people physically, mentally and emotionally. Some lasting side effects that may result from opiate abuse include—but are not limited to—the following problems:

  • Physical dependence and/or addiction that requires professional treatment.
  • Damaged immune system
  • Depressed respiration that can result in pulmonary complications such as pneumonia
  • Permanent damage to the lungs, liver and kidneys due to toxins in artificial copies
  • Decreased brain function
  • Inflammation and infection of the blood vessels, veins and arteries as a result of intravenous injection
  • Abscesses and collapsed veins
  • Infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Death from overdose
  • Death from infection
  • Death from withdrawal symptoms

When opiate addiction occurs, professional treatment is often required. In most cases, as opiate increases over an extended period of time, the more damage is done to your body. For some individuals using opiates one time can lead to an overdose or even death.

Indirect Side Effects of Opiate Abuse

Regular abuse of opiates is almost guaranteed to lead to physical dependency and an intense addiction. Opiate abuse can lead to many different indirect side effects. There may be financial difficulties from job loss or the use of income on drugs instead of paying the mortgage. Bankruptcy or loss of possessions could even result. Legal problems due to accidents are another possible indirect side effect of opiate abuse. Here are a few other issues that may result from opiate abuse:

  • Problems with family members or relationships
  • Divorce
  • Loss of child custody
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and stress levels increase
  • Suicide

If you are already experiencing some of these problems, please seek immediate help for your addiction. This simple step can make a big difference in not only your life but also the lives of those around you as well.

How to Overcome Opiate Addiction

Drug abuse is often connected to underlying psychological issues. When you seek treatment, you can learn to cope with stress in healthy and productive ways. Drug use is only a temporary escape that has no positive lasting effects. The good news is that you can go into recovery. Addiction is a disease that is entirely treatable. However, it is nearly impossible to overcome opiate addiction on your own; professional treatment greatly increases the chances of success. Don’t try to do this on your own.

If you or someone you know needs treatment for opiate addiction, we can help. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day. A professional counselor is ready to answer any questions you have about addiction, treatment, or even how an intervention works. Don’t wait—make the call today so you can move forward in your life.


[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.

[2] https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml Drug Schedules