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The Effects of Smoking Heroin

A man stand on a balcony with a contemplative look on his face.
Addiction isn’t the only risk of smoking heroin.


To some, smoking heroin simply doesn’t seem as dangerous as using a needle to inject it.

But the truth is that heroin is extremely addictive—and dangerous—no matter how you use it. In addition to the risk of overdose and death (increasingly common given the deadly substances some heroin is cut with), heroin users are at risk of liver damage, chronic constipation, depression, kidney disease, heart infections, hepatitis, HIV, collapsed veins and more.

By smoking heroin, you may be eliminating the risk of HIV, collapsed veins and hepatitis, but that’s only if you’re vigilant about avoiding unsafe sex.

The Side Effects of Smoking Heroin

Yes, you avoid needles by smoking heroin, but it comes at a price—which can potentially be fatal. When heroin is heated, it produces a vapor called pyrolysate. Researchers have found that, when inhaled, this substance may expose you to developing leukoencephalopathy, a rare and usually fatal brain disease.

But even if that never happens, smoking heroin can take quite a toll on your lungs and respiratory system. You may develop asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia or even begin coughing up blood.

Hope, Health and Happiness at The Raleigh House

Most people find that they need help battling an addiction like heroin. Part of what we do is to help you get over the physical aspects of addiction—and get healthy. But that’s not all that’s involved in preparing you for the next phase of life. At the Raleigh House, we believe in treating the whole person, not just the addiction. That means we also address the physical, mental, spiritual, psychological, social and emotional aspects of addiction. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the heroin addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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