Dear Aunt Agony... How Long Does a Heroin Addict Live?

Dear A.A, how long does a heroin addict live? What is the life expectancy of a heroin addict? (Anon arrived through such a search term)

Aren't Agony Says:

Hey Anon Searcher,

It's not an easy question to answer and I can only do so in a very general fashion. I guess the average life of an addict (through my experience) is around 45 years. However, that's speaking about street addicts. If we refer to people who are on long term prescribed heroin (for certain illnesses, disabilities) then their life span is not affected by the drug. Their mortality rate is as good/bad as anyone else's (as long as they're not being dripped heroin for a terminal disease). It's not really the heroin that kills but the diseases, infections, bacteria that gets into the body with the smack. Also, and this is VERY important, life expectancy is ONLY around 45 years for needle addicts. Someone smoking or snorting heroin will have the same life expectancy as someone who's never used heroin before. More than the heroin, future and historical studies will show that most addicts died prematurely from: HIV, Hepatitis, and lung and heart infections. The Overdose is kinda a romantic myth and most addicts just aren't that lucky. The majority waste away to nothing in some grotty hospital gown, in an even grottier hospital with not a soul to even bring them in a fix.