- Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at risk of overdose or death.
- Long-term use of heroin causes tolerance to develop so that in order to achieve the same degree of euphoria, larger and larger doses must be taken. When people have been off heroin for some time their tolerance decreases and a common cause of death result
- Sharing of injection equipment or fluids can lead to some of the most severe consequences of heroin abuse - infections with hepatitis B and C, HIV, and a host of other blood-borne viruses, which drug abusers can then pass on to their sexual partners and children.
- Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is "cut" with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk or quinine.
Heroin Addiction Recovery is similar to the recovery of most addictive drugs, except that heroin addiction withdrawal can last several weeks to months. Attempting heroin addiction detoxification without proffessional assistance is not only dangerous, but sometimes deadly. Heroin addiction withdrawal can cause serious physical and emotional trauma including: stroke, heart attack and even death. Methadone is often used to ease heroin withdrawal, though this typically ends with the individual acquiring an addiction to another drug. Recovery from heroin addiction involves detoxification as the initial step. Secondly, the individual needs to be willing to participate in a rehabilitation program and continually exert themselves daily throughout their heroin addiction rehabilitation program. The highest documented success rates for heroin addiction recovery are through long term drug rehabilitation treatment lasting at least 3 to 6 months. This gives structure and support to provide long term recovery from heroin addiction.