The effects on the body from continued use of this drug are very destructive. Frequent injections can cause collapsed veins and can lead to infections of the blood vessels and heart valves. Tuberculosis1 can result from the general poor condition of the body. Arthritis is another long-term result of heroin addiction.
The addict lifestyle—where heroin users often share their needles—leads to AIDS and other contagious infections. It is estimated that of the 35,000 new hepatitis C2 (liver disease) infections each year in the United States, over 70% are from drug users who use needles.