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What Is The Lasting Impact Of Opioid Abuse?

Of all the types of drug abuse that a person can fall into, opioid abuse is one of the most pernicious and dangerous. Opioids can be incredibly alluring and distracting, causing addiction to develop quickly and easily. They can also be extremely damaging to a person’s health and general well-being. As well as the many short-term negative side effects of opioid abuse, there is also a severe lasting impact of opioid abuse which are important to know about too.

The Lasting Impact Of Opioid Abuse

Let’s take a look at the long-term lasting impact of opioid abuse so you are fully aware of them and can do everything in your power to avoid abusing opioids in your own life.

Mood Swings

One of the side effects that the people around you will notice is that you might have a lot of severe mood swings. You might well feel ecstatic one moment and utterly depressed the next, and then switch to anger and frustration in a heartbeat. All of this can be incredibly upsetting for yourself and others around you, as well as troublesome for your mental health in the long term. Having these kinds of extreme mood swings is definitely a sign that something’s wrong.

Permanent Behavior Changes

What Is The Lasting Impact Of Opioid Abuse?

This can be trickier to spot in yourself, in part because it can take place gradually over a long period of time. But there is no doubt about it: abusing opioids can and does lead to many different kinds of permanent behavior changes, not all of which will be pleasant or desired. You may even become violent and abusive towards the people in your life. It’s possible to completely alienate yourself from your community in this way.


While opioid use might help you to sleep in the short term, in the long term you are much more likely to experience some severe insomnia as a result of abusing these kinds of drugs. That insomnia then forms part of a vicious cycle: you can’t sleep, which disrupts your day and then you take more of the drug, further disturbing your ability to sleep. You might even have insomnia after coming off the drug for a while as part of the withdrawal effects. With sleep being so vital for every aspect of your health, it’s hugely important to make sure that you are avoiding insomnia if possible – which means getting help with your addiction.

Sexual Dysfunction

Healthy sexuality is an important and normal part of life for all of us, so when this is disrupted it can be one of the most serious and severe impacts of all. Unfortunately for opioid abusers, sexual dysfunction is one of the most commonly expected long-term effects of these kinds of drugs. Males may struggle to maintain erections, while females might not be able to achieve orgasm. In general, there may be a lessening of confidence around sex, which can lead to many mental health issues in turn.

Heart Damage

As the most important organ in the body, you obviously want to make sure you are taking good care of your heart. But with long-term opioid abuse, it’s likely that your heart has undergone some severe damage, especially over a course of years on the drug. After recovery, this process can start to reverse. In the meantime, it is likely that the damage is only going to get worse and worse, significantly shortening your expected lifespan.

Brain Damage

Again, it’s a hugely important organ, and when it is not being looked after the consequences can be grave. With long-term abuse of opioids, your brain is going to be undergoing a considerable amount of damage, just as your heart will too. This damage might make it harder to think clearly and remember facts and memories, and it could mean that you have irreversible damage too. Again, your best chance is to try and put the drug aside for good – as challenging as it is, it is worthwhile in the long run.

Social Life Troubles

Finally, drug use always affects every part of your life, so your social life too is going to be affected if you abuse opioids. This means that you might struggle with social confidence or with being yourself in social settings. Ironically, a lot of people turn to these drugs to help with the very situations which only become more unbearable later on, because of the drug in question.

For help with opioid addiction, or simply to find out more about your options, please get in touch with us today.

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