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Our phone line is staffed by knowledgeable rehab specialists ready to assist you. From 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday to Friday, and all day Sunday, a specialist from DRS will answer your calls. Outside these hours, your calls will be handled by a rehab specialist from “Together We Can,” a treatment facility in BC, ensuring you receive support whenever you need it.

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Heroin Addict?

Last updated on: Friday, 3 May 2024
  • What You'll Learn

The life expectancy of a heroin addict is significantly reduced compared to someone who doesn’t take drugs. However, the actual life expectancy depends on which other drugs the addict is taking, as many will mix alcohol, weed, and even cocaine with their heroin addiction. However, most hardcore, long-term heroin users will die by the time they are in their 40s or 50s. This is because the actual lifespan of a hardcore heroin addict is about 15 to 20 years old. Since most heroin addicts will start during their 20s or their 30s, it all makes sense.

However, other factors contribute to reducing a heroin addict’s lifespan. First of all, overdosing can often be fatal. It can happen just by pure bad luck; if a heroin addict gets a batch of way higher purity than usual, his average dose could lead to an overdose quickly. Another significant factor affecting the heroin addict’s lifespan is the environment and setting in which he or she is using heroin. If he is in a very unsanitary environment, the needles will often not be sterilized before each use, increasing infection rates significantly.

Another big problem is that many heroin addicts die of HIV at a certain point. Some get infected through needle sharing, and others get infected through sex, as some will use sexual acts to fund their addiction. These are all factors that can significantly reduce one’s lifespan.

So it is essential to get a heroin addict help before it comes to a point where heroin is the thing running their life and before they get into a condition where they run the risk of overdosing, getting AIDS, etc. The heroin rehab treatments in British Columbia can help them regain their lives.

Since 2012, heroin use in Canada has not changed; much of this is because there are no consistent reportable statistics or numbers that can be looked at. Roughly around 1.5 to 2% of the general Canadian population has used heroin; heroin use among males is more predominant than among females, with over 3% of males using the drug compared to over 1% of females. Unfortunately, heroin use among youth is five times higher than that among adults, and much of this use contributes to the current opioid epidemic spreading throughout Canada. Generally, heroin does tend to be a popular drug among those living on the street in cities such as Vancouver, Montreal, and Winnipeg. The use of fentanyl has overshadowed much of the heroin use that is going on in Canada. However, cities like Vancouver still see a steady flow of heroin addicts using the various prevention services within the city. Most heroin addicts in Canada use drugs such as methadone or suboxone to help curb cravings, which is referred to as medication management treatment. Heroin addiction can be treated appropriately with a medically supervised detox and an inpatient drug rehabilitation center, but withdrawal tends to force many addicts not to seek help. Other heroin addicts in Canada cannot get past the physical and psychological cravings and will turn to medication management programs. Heroin is addictive and dangerous; lately, numerous heroin overdose deaths have been connected to the fentanyl problem, as heroin can be laced with fentanyl.

Heroin addiction is something that a person can carry with them for a long time, and many heroin addicts started using the drug in their twenties and still use it in their fifties. This is the addictive nature of the drug and how strong of a hold it can take on the user. The average heroin addict in Canada will have experienced many close calls and may have overdosed on more than one occasion. Prevention programs in Canada have helped slow down and prevent the spread of disease, but people are still addicted to the drug, and many heroin addicts in Canada are struggling to become sober. A heroin addict in Canada will tend to turn to medications such as methadone suboxone, or even naltrexone. Still, medication replacement should not necessarily be looked at as a long-term solution but rather as a way to stabilize and receive proper substance abuse treatment therapy. Amidst the current opioid epidemic in Canada, most provinces and territories have been focusing more on publicly funded drug and alcohol treatment services, specifically withdrawal management services. Canada’s private drug and alcohol treatment sector can be pretty effective in treating heroin addiction, including long-term and short-term treatment options. Private facilities for heroin abuse will not have waitlists, and within many facilities, withdrawal management programs are provided in the center to ensure an easy transition can be made. If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction in Canada, contact Drug Rehab Services to help locate the best possible treatment options in your area.




More Information

Nickolaus Hayes has been working with Drug Rehab Services for the past ten years. Over the past 15 years, he has remained connected to helping people who have been struggling with addiction. He first started working as an intake counselor at a drug rehabilitation center in 2005. During the five years as an intake counselor, he was able to help hundreds of people find treatment. Nickolaus was also fortunate to be able to work with professional interventionists, traveling across the country performing interventions.