Heroin (aka diacetylmorphine) is an extremely addictive and harmful drug that has been a problem throughout the world for ages. Heroin is semi-synthetic opioid drug created by a synthesizing process done to morphine(which is extracted from the opium poppy plant). Morphine and heroin have almost identical statistics in terms of addictive tendencies, the immediate effects a user experiences and physical damage done to the body and organs. The three most common methods that heroin is used are smoking, snorting and injecting. All of these routes of heroin use are harmful and habit-forming. Heroin is a schedule I controlled substance in the United States and has severe punishment for its possession and trafficking. Possession of over 100 grams of heroin warrants a minimum prison sentence of 5 years.
Like most illegal drugs, heroin usage has both short-term and long-term effects to its users whether injected, smoked or snorted, heroin will immediately affect the body’s central nervous system after it is used.
Short-Term Effects of Heroin
Euphoria will come over users shortly after using, in which they have a dry mouth, warm flushing of the skin, and the feeling of having “heavy” arms and legs. Heroin users will go into an alternately wakeful and drowsy state sometimes called “on the nod” after the initial rush. The user will also experience “cloudy” mental function and may experience a deminshed mental capacity and dulled emotions. Users will start to breathe slower and may reach a point of respiratory failure. The effects of heroin lasts 3 to 4 hours after administration
Long-Term Effects of Heroin
Repeated and chronic users of heroin without using sterile technique or practice sharing equipment will begin to experience the long-term effects of heroin. Here are some of the long-term effects of heroin usage:
Infection of the heart lining and valves, caused by lack of sterile technique.
Liver disease; Sharing of snorting straws were linked to hepatitis transmission
Pulmonary complications caused by infections
Skin infections and abscesses commonly among chronic injectors with scarred or collapsed veins
HIV and other blood-borne viruses
Signs of Heroin Use
Track MarksHeroin addiction signs include but are not limited to:
Smaller pupils (pinpoint pupils)
Scars on Veins (Track Marks)
Blood stains on clothes
Decrease in social behaviors
Less care taken with hygiene
Poor performance in school and/or at work
Drug Paraphernalia (Bent/Burnt spoons, small cotton balls, syringes, tourniquets)
Heroin Overdose has claimed the lives of many people from all walks of life. An overdose means that a fatal amount of the drug has entered the body and needs immediate medical attention and admitted into a heroin rehab. With Heroin, overdose symptoms usually appear immediately after the the drug is taken causing the user to fall out and appear dead or can cause respiratory depression which slows the users breathing and ultimately stops breathing without medical attention.