The opioid epidemic is often featured in the news, but it seems that little is being done to help those it affects. People of all ages, races and walks of life are falling target to drugs such as heroin, and the consequences are ruining lives. If you or somebody you know is struggling with heroin, it is important to address the situation realistically and find resources to help.

The following are three of the most dangerous implications of getting involved with heroin. In addition to the risk of addiction, you will likely encounter health problems and legal consequences as a result of heroin use or possession. 

1. Addiction

One of the most obvious dangers of heroin use is addiction. The drug’s effects latch onto the brain’s opioid receptors and trigger pleasurable sensations. Because the high is so intense and the effect is so immediate, it is easy for users to quickly fall to depending on the drug. Addiction wreaks havoc on a person’s life by jeopardizing health, finances and general wellbeing.

2. Health problems

According to the New York State Department of Health, nearly 2,500 people died of heroin overdoses between the years of 2013 and 2015. Death rates do not appear to be slowing down, tragically, so one should not underestimate the lethal potential of the drug. In addition to the possibility of overdose, heroin can inflict health problems such as insomnia, bacterial infections, collapsed veins, kidney disease and arthritis. 

3. Criminal charges

In addition to the risk of addiction and detriment to a person’s health, heroin quite often results in legal complications. Anybody caught in possession of heroin is liable to encounter criminal charges, and this can further dissuade a person from seeking treatment. Whether the charges are for possession, trafficking, manufacturing or intent to sell, a conviction will seriously disrupt your life and make it even more difficult to recover from heroin involvement.