Heroin belongs to the opiate family, a class of drugs derived from either the flowers of the poppy plant, or from their synthetic substitutes. In heroin’s case, it is produced from morphine. This is a naturally occurring material derived from the seedpod of the poppy plants. Like numerous drugs made from opiates, heroin is incredibly a strong painkiller
Every opiate abuse, as well as heroin and several prescriptions pain relievers, carries with them a solid risk of addiction along with physical dependence. Heroin commonly appears as a white otherwise brown powder. Purest heroin is a white powder, although owing to the variety of materials it is cut with, the street heroin can be brownish in colour. Larger chunks of heroin may as well appear as a black gluey substance known as black tar heroin. Heroin generally would have different degrees of strength and purity. This would have a great influence on the signs and side effects the abuser would have.
Other street names of heroin
Heroin is also referred by other street names like Smack, brown sugar, horse, skunk, white horse, dope, Mexican black tar, China white, H, junk
How Heroin is Used
Heroin can be mixed with water before it is injected with a needle. Furthermore, it also can be snorted up the nose or simply smoked. All these three ways can cause equal levels of addiction, over and above grave health problems. To avoid detection and possible arrests by the law enforcers, Heroin obtained on the street is mixed with white substances such as starch, sugar or powdered milk.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Abuse
Heroin creates a "downer" feeling that speedily induces a state of euphoria and relaxation (due to chemical alterations in the pleasure parts of the brain). Just like other opiates, the use of heroin blocks the brain's capability to perceive pain. Heroin abusers may at first be able to conceal signs and symptoms associated with heroin use. Loved ones or their co-workers may thereafter notice a variety of signs of heroin abuse.
Immediate effects of heroin use include a haste of good feelings as well as clouded thinking. In the first several hours succeeding heroin intake, people would want to sleep, and their heart rate and breathing may slow down. Immediately the drug starts to wear off, abusers may feel a biting urge to take even more and more of heroin.
Further effects include:
- Feeling sick along with itchy body: Heroin can make the abuser throw up and make their skin feel extremely itchy.
- Having difficulty breathing: Heroin can stop or slow the breathing of the user, at times so much that an individual dies, a phase described as a fatal heroin overdose.
- Acquiring HIV/AIDS or hepatitis: Sharing of old and used needles to inject heroin is dangerous. This can cause the users to acquire HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
- Weight loss
Behavioral signs and symptoms of heroin abuse and addiction include:
- Lying or any other deceptive manners
- Avoiding eye contact
- Considerable increase in amount of time spent sleeping
- Increase in slurred or incoherent speech
- Unexpected deterioration of performance in school work, as well as expulsion or loss of job
- Decreasing consideration to physical hygiene
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Constantly stealing or borrowing cash from loved ones
- Unexplained absence of valuables
- Wearing of long sleeves to conceal needle marks, regardless of the very warm weather
Fatal Heroin Overdose
Heroin can be fatal. Heroin slows, and at times stops breathing, so overdosing can swiftly kill a person. Immediate Signs of a heroin overdose include slow breathing, blue fingernails as well as blue lips, shaking and cold clammy skin. Individuals who might be overdosing should be rushed to the emergency room immediately.
Statistics on Heroin use and Abuse
According to the 2012 NIDA-funded survey of teenagers, only 0.05% of eighth graders, 0.6% of tenth graders and twelfth graders confessed to having used the drug at least on one occasion in the preceding year. However, there is fear that teenagers addicted to other prescription opiates like Vicodin and OxyContin may be turning to heroin as an alternative, for the reason that heroin produces similar effects, but is much cheaper to get.
It is estimated that nearly 25% of the persons who try heroin grow to become addicts. 90% of individuals with heroin abuse problem start abusing the drug before the age of 18.
What Causes Heroin Addiction and Dependency
Understanding heroin's extremely addictive properties is helped by awareness of the varieties of heroin and modes of consumption. Abusers naturally report feeling a pitch of pleasurable feeling, characteristically referred to as a rush. Intensity of the rush will depend on the amount of drug taken and also how quickly the drug gets into the brain. The drug is particularly addictive for the reason that it enters the brain so fast. People who use and abuse heroin would feel a certain urge to take more of the drug to feel the same effect. They would need to keep taking heroin just to feel normal. When they try to stop using it, addicted individuals feel strong cravings for it.
Persons who are attempting to quit taking it might:
- Get chills.
- Be unable to sleep.
- Feel nervous.
Where abusers can seek help and strategies of combating heroin
When someone has a heroin problem, they should be advised to speak to a parent, guidance counselor, or any trusted adult. The abuser can then be referred to a nearby treatment facility, support groups, and any other local club that can offer help for their definite need.
Various strategies that could help lessen heroin abuse include; increasing access to the life-saving medicine naloxone and its related training; ratifying legal protections that would encourage people to call for aid for overdose victims; in addition the public should be trained on how to prevent, identify and answer to an overdose.
Fact is that whilst one is still a teenager (even into their early 20′s!), they are still developing. Heroin or any other drug abuse in these years in particular can have a long-lasting impact. As the brain is developing, it is much more exposed to addiction. Heroin gets into the brain very rapidly, making it principally addictive. Overdose is a real and lethal risk. Just as quickly, it can take over a person’s life, and become fatal. Opiate addictions including Heroin are treatable, but the path to healing requires a long-term dedication. It is imperative to understand the normal risks and effects, both short-term and long-term.
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