National Institute of Drug Abuse states that heroin falls under opioid drugs long side painkillers such as oxycontin and Vicodin. The drug is the by-product of synthesized morphine, a substance that occurs naturally through the extraction from Asian opium poppy plant seedpod. The physical appearance of the drug varies from white or brown powder to a black sticky substance. Research indicates that by 2011, 1.6 % of American population had at least tested heroin in their lifetime, 23 % of this group had become dependent on the drug.
According to National Institute of Drug Abuse, administration of heroin into the body system takes place using two routes, intravenous injection and inhalation by snorting, smoking or sniffing. Heroin gravely affects the brain. Once in the body system, the drug travels up to the brain, where it is converted back into morphine. National Institute of Drug Abuse further asserts that opioids receptors found in the brain have high affinity for morphine thus binds immediately with the substance. Opioids receptors are found in various parts of the brain and the body, especially the part of the brain involved in the perception of pain, rewards and flex functions such as respiration, arousal and blood pressure. Excessive consumption of heroin suppress these functions, which may prove fatal. The consequences of repetitive use of the drug are tolerance and dependence.
The topic has numerous impacts in an individual’s life as explained by National Institute of Drug Abuse. The topic furnishes one with the knowledge of what the drug is and its characteristics, such information is valuable and comes handy when drug peddlers or robbers tries to give one the drug disguising it as other substances such as glucose. The more an individual knows about the consequences of abusing a drug the least they are likely to abuse the drug, knowledge of the drug helps one make a conscious decision to abstain from the drug. When one is acquainted with the knowledge of the heroin, he or she will be in a better position to assistant someone experimenting with the drug or an addict quit using heroin, this would bring personal satisfaction because he she would have saved a life.
"DrugFacts: Heroin." National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 1 June 2014. <http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin>.