What is Heroin?
Heroin comes from the opium poppy. It’s been known to grow in several places like Asia, South America, Mexico, and some middle eastern countries. Heroin was formally made illegal in the United States in 1924. It can look like a brown or white powder, or in some cases black tar. Some of the nicknames for Heroin can include horse, smack, junk, as well as brown sugar.
How is Heroin used?
Heroin can be snorted or smoked, but the most common and deadly way it’s used is intravenous, injected through the veins which produces the quickest high. Injection is the most dangerous way to take it. The majority over overdoses reported are due to intravenous use. Intravenous use leaves the user more prone to diseases.
What are the effects of prolonged use to heroin?
Your body will build a tolerance to Heroin if used to often. It can still harm you with one use. Once you build a tolerance you need to take more and more to get the same high, and your body starts depending on it to function. If you try to quit using, you’ll develop withdrawal symptoms consisting of feeling jittery, getting chills, vomiting, and having bone and muscle pain.
Heroin use can lead to:
• Collapsed veins
• Infections of the heart lining and valves
• Skin infections like abscesses and cellulitis
• High risk of getting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
• Lung diseases, like pneumonia and tuberculosis
Why is heroin being used so much?
According to statistics heroin use has double between 2007-2012. Many experts say this is because of prescription painkiller abuse linked top OxyContin and Vicodin. Many have turned to using Heroin because it is cheaper and stronger. The difference between prescription painkillers and heroin is you can never tell just how strong it is and what is in it.
Sometimes Heroin is laced with other drugs and most common today is Fentanyl. Statistics show that overdose deaths from heroin have doubled between 2010 and 2012. Many different reports have said that the majority of deaths from heroin are from fentanyl.
Attempting to meet the growing demand for heroin, traffickers have increased production, and the amount that’s being smuggled into the United States.
What does a person look like if they are on Heroin or other opiates?
A person on heroin may not look like they’re “on drugs.” They may just seem sleepy. Addicts almost always deny that they are using.
- Pinned Eyes ( no reaction to light or dark, always pinned)
- Itchy Skin
- May vomit
- Avoiding eye contact
- Needle marks ( track marks)
What do I do if someone I know is using heroin?
If you’re suspicious of a friend or family member using heroin, do not hesitate to get them help. You should act immediately. The quicker they receive treatment for heroin addiction, the better off they are.
If you think someone is having an overdose, you should call 911 right away. Don’t hesitate! The quicker they receive a narcan shot or intra-nasal the better. Heroin Use, Addiction, Effects, Withdrawal, and More