Heroin, also known as diamorphine, is one of the most addictive and deadly drugs in existence.
Although illegal in most countries, the use of heroin still cause millions of people around the world to suffer both mental and physiological problems associated with its use. Once an individual becomes addicted to heroin, it is very difficult to kick the habit and most addicts spend nearly every waking moment of their lives trying to figure out how they are going to get their next fix.
Heroin is made from a naturally produced latex like substance known as an opiate that is extracted from the seed pods of opium poppy plants. The substance is then dried and chemically modified to produce a white or brownish gray colored powder or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin.
Known as smack, horse, junk, or brown sugar depending on where you are or who you're talking to, heroin is a destructive force in small towns, large cities, suburbs, and in rural areas around the world. It is known for it's ability to take anyone who uses it, rich or poor, young or old, male or female, and turn them into shells of the people they once were.
Heroin can be smoked or snorted through the nose but most people who are addicted to it, inject it into their veins. By using this method, the drug goes directly into the bloodstream and permeates the brain for a faster high. The use of needles is the most dangerous method because it makes it easier for the user to overdose or become exposed to a variety of dangerous diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis A and B.
When heroin is taken, it creates a feeling of warmth, happiness and bliss as the world seems to slow down and the mind goes into a dreamlike state. After the initial euphoria, the user goes into a state of drowsiness known as "nodding out" in which he or she becomes caught between being awake and asleep simultaneously.
The problem is that the blissful feelings associated with heroin are short lived and require a steady ingestion of the drug to maintain the feeling of euphoria. The road to heroin addiction starts immediately. For many people, after experimenting with heroin one or two times, the mind and body starts craving more of the drug and those cravings gets stronger and stronger after each use.
Heroin affects the mind and body in several ways. It can cause the user to develop depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. It can slow the rate of heart beats, inhibit normal breathing functions, and damage nerve cells which causes the inability to recognize pain. It's effects are both neurological and psychological and can cause the user to go into a coma and/or experience irreversible brain damage.
Other tragic results of heroin use include spontaneous abortion, premature births and infant withdrawal syndrome. Blood clots, liver and kidney disease, lung disease, and the shutdown of vital organs in the body are also common with heroin addiction.
Over time, the mind and body becomes tolerant of the effects of heroin but it can't shake it's dependence very easily. It takes will power and a strong support system to overcome the addictive pull of heroin. Many people live in denial for years before realizing how bad off they are. They lose the respect of family and friends, often going to jail, ending up in hospitals, or worse, dying of an overdose.
There are a number of medications and different types of therapies that are used to help addicts break heroin addiction.
First, in order to kick the habit, a person has to admit to himself that he is an addict and that he will always be an addict and he must recognize what addiction has done to his life.
Second, he has to convince himself, or be convinced, to seek help. He must also realize that he will always be an addict and that he has to permanently distance himself from people who are still taking drugs, regardless of who they are.
Third, treating heroin addiction means going into rehab and enduring many days of withdrawal symptoms that include vomiting, chills, insomnia, diarrhea, muscle pain, and nervous ticks and shakes. Then comes the months, or sometimes years, of physical and psychological therapy.
If you know someone who is using heroin or other illicit drugs, urge them to seek help immediately. You may save their life. There are warning signs that should not be ignored. If you see medical needles, pipes, burned spoons, cigarette lighters, matches, razor blades, and other drug paraphernalia, it may be signs of drug abuse.
Where can I get information about drug abuse and addiction? Visit these website's, www.freevibe.com or www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov to get information about drugs abuse and addiction. They offer a wide array of options about getting help. You can also get information by calling this toll free number, 800-729-6686 or linea gratis en espanol 877-767-8432.
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