What is the average life span of a heroin addict?

  • It depends on how often they use and what other drugs (or alcohol) they may be using with one particular drug. What most people don't realize is that the majority of long-term, hard-core drug addicts are dying in their 40s and 50s. The latest studies show that the life expectancy of a drug addict is 15 to 20 years after they start being a drug addict. So what we see is a replenishment of the population, a new crop of addicts. There are no 90-year-old heroin addicts. Most of those we were recording 20 years ago have died. The numbers are relatively stable, but they're constantly being replenished.
  • The average U.S. statistics say one in 100 heroin addicts will have a fatal overdose per year, then there was times like the Chicago fentanyl scare when deaths jumped 5x. this isn't considering the hep c, HIV, AIDS, murders, or accidents that can happen while using. Gangrene/necrosis from bad shots. It depends upon the circumstances in which they take it. Heroin is diacetyl morphine. It is just another form of ordinary hospital morphine which is used routinely. The only difference between the two is that heroin is three times stronger by weight. One grain of heroin equals three grains of morphine. They are both converted to the same form of morphine within the body. Medically, they are entirely equivalent and there is no justification for heroin being illegal while morphine is used routinely. There are literally millions of pain patients in the US who use morphine on a daily basis. It has no negative effect on their lives, as long as it is used in moderation. Neither does heroin need to have a bad effect on the lifespan of addicts -- provided they take it under clean and safe circumstances. In fact, there have been numerous famous addicts who have lived long, healthy, and successful lives while addicted to heroin. One example is Dr. William Stewart Halsted, who is known as the "father of modern surgery". He invented most of the basic techniques of modern surgery while he was an addict. Another famous heroin addict was Senator Joseph McCarthy, of anti-communist fame. See Some Eminent Narcotics Addicts - http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cu5.HTML Prior to 1914, heroin was entirely legal. Heroin, morphine, and cocaine were included in common patent medicines and freely available to anyone who wanted to purchase them, including children. Prior to 1906 there were no requirements to even list the contents on the label so people didn't even know what they were taking. Even under those conditions, we did not have most of the health and crime problems associated with heroin that we see today. Addicts did not commit crimes to support their habit, and they generally did not suffer major ill health effects from their addiction. The most typical addict at the time was a rural-living white female -- the farm mother. The huge problems with disease, infection, and impure products did not arise until opiates were outlawed in 1914. Most of the health problems associated with heroin in the modern world are the result of it being illegal. For an excellent history and discussion of the subject, see The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm