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Heroin: The drug : 

Heroin: The drug

What is Heroin? : 

Heroin is a synthetic opiate drug that is highly addictive. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is an illegal drug. What is Heroin? HEROIN’S DIFFERENT FORMS: Heroin comes in various forms, but pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste. Most illicit heroin comes in powder form in colours, ranging from white to dark brown. The colours are due to the impurities left from the manufacturing process or the presence of additives. “Black tar” is another form of heroin that resembles roofing tar or is hard like coal. Colour varies from dark brown to black.

Effects of heroin : 

Effects of heroin Heroin is a depressant, a downer. It slows down the central nervous system activity.  This includes physical, mental and emotional responses and slows down things such as breathing and heart rate. Often commonly referred to as the hardest drug, although all drugs are dangerous and have risks attached to using them. Heroin is the drug most often associated with the overdoses and it is often associated with needles, as injecting is the most common method of use. Heroin works by copying the body's own natural chemicals in the brain and the body which are produced in response to pain and this in turn affects the body's pleasure producing neurotransmitters called endorphins. Therefore when heroin hits the bloodstream it releases these endorphins which results in initial rush of euphoria followed by warm and relaxing feeling and any worries you have disappear.


HISTORY Heroin is an opiate and was first manufactured back in 1874. Opiates are drugs manufactured from the opium poppy plant and others in this family include: Morphine Codeine Opium Heroin is a strong pain killer and like other opiate drugs - it suppresses the volume and rate of breathing. Hence how overdoses can occur - breathing becomes very suppressed and slow and it can even stop.

Heroin’s street Names : 

Heroin’s street Names Heroin has many street names including big H, blacktar, brown sugar, dope, horse, junk, mud, skag. The most common name for heroin is smack. After September 11th, heroin was even called Bin Laden, twin towers and WTC. Some other interesting street names are Bart Simpson, Aunt Hazel, birdie powder, Dr. Feelgood, dog food, Hong-yen, lemonade, Mexican mud, old Steve, Pangonadalot and witch hazel..

Heroin: what are the effects? : 

Heroin: what are the effects? The immediate effects of heroin may last 3 to 5 hours. They are: Intense pleasure and a strong feeling of well-being. Confusion. Pain relief. Slowed breathing. Decreased blood pressure and heart rate. Constricted pupils. Dry mouth. Suppressed cough reflex. Reduced sexual urges. Drowsiness. Slurred and slow speech. Reduced co-ordination. Nausea and vomiting.

Heroin In greater quantities : 

Heroin In greater quantities The immediate effects intensify and last longer with higher quantities of heroin. The following effects are also likely to occur. The ability to concentrate is impaired. The user is likely to fall asleep (‘on the nod’). Breathing becomes shallower and slower. Nausea and vomiting are more likely to occur. Sweating, itching and increased urinary output are also likely. Short-term effects Apart from overdosing, the major problem of short-term use of any opiate is the way it is used. For example, injecting heroin can result in skin, heart and lung infections, and diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

Long term effects : 

In its pure form, heroin is relatively non-toxic to the body, causing little damage to body tissue and other organs. However, there are some long-term effects, including dependence, constipation, menstrual irregularity and infertility in women, loss of sex drive in men, intense sadness and cognitive impairment. Many of the other long-term problems may be the result of other factors, such as the person's poor general self-care, drug impurities and contaminants, and blood-borne viruses. Heroin is usually a mixture of pure heroin and other substances, such as caffeine and sugar. Additives can be highly poisonous. They can cause collapsed veins, tetanus, abscesses and damage to the heart, lungs, liver and brain. Long term effects

Overdose On heroin : 

Overdose On heroin Using a large quantity of heroin can cause death. Breathing becomes very slow, body temperature drops, and the heartbeat becomes irregular. Overdose may occur if: too much heroin is injected; the strength of purity is high; or heroin is used with alcohol or sedatives (benzodiazepines). To reverse the effects of a heroin overdose, the attending ambulance officer will inject the drug naloxone to restart breathing. The naloxone may not last as long as the heroin, so the person will feel ‘stoned’ again and may even become unconscious again. It is important that another quantity of heroin is not taken again on that day, as it may combine with the original quantity of heroin taken and could cause an overdose. After an overdose, it is strongly advisable to seek assessment at a hospital.

Most common method of use : 

Most common method of use Injecting, followed by a range of other methods such as smoking or inhaling the fumes (known as chasing), swallowing or snorting. The smoking of heroin has become more common. There is no safe way to use heroin. Research also shows that most people who start smoking heroin end up injecting it if they continue to use. This has increased risk factors due to issues associated with needles, vein injuries and blood borne viruses. The main reason people use heroin is for its euphoric effect - however people very quickly become dependent on it and getting off heroin is exceptionally difficult.


WIDER COMMUNITY Heroin affects the community in both positive and negative ways. The positive effects include pain relief for people in great pain or on their deathbed so that they may die peacefully. Negative effects affect not only the person and their families but also the ‘wider community’ in terms of the amount of influence that these drugs have. One death (due to drugs) in the community can inspire a person as well as break them down. People who use heroin might encourage others to use it as well. Since heroin in extremely harmful in nature, the whole world is now finally joining hands and creating awareness of how it can destroy.

Help and hope for users : 

Help and hope for users With regular heroin use, tolerance develops. This means the abuser must use more heroin to achieve the same intensity or effect. As higher doses are used over time, physical dependence and addiction develop. With physical dependence, the body has adapted to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms may occur if use is reduced or stopped. Withdrawal, which in regular abusers may occur as early as a few hours after the last administration, produces drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhoea and vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps ("cold turkey"), kicking movements ("kicking the habit"), and other symptoms. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and subside after about a week. Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users who are in poor health is occasionally fatal, although heroin withdrawal is considered much less dangerous than alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal. There are many places that you can get help for heroin addiction such as www.sober.com, www.samsa.gov, www.prescriptionrecovery.com, etc.

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