With heroin abuse, addiction is rapid and severe, and often requires treatment at a rehab center. Heroin is made from morphine, which occurs naturally in the Asian poppy plant. Abuse of this drug comes from all backgrounds, cultures and ages. Purer forms are readily available to attract new customers and is especially dangerous because it can cause overdoses and addiction. Some people, especially young people may not be aware of the dangers of heroin abuse, especially the threat of addiction and overdose.
Even those who claim recreational use are not immune to the threat of addiction. Whether injected, smoked, or snorted, the onset of addiction is rapid and severe. Heroin addicts will have cravings for the drug and experience withdrawal symptoms if they do not get it regularly. Heroin abuse may cause one to lose interest in daily activities. Abusers may have a hard time limiting their use. They may build a tolerance requiring more of the drug to get the same effect. Problems with their jobs and personal relationships arise. Heroin addiction can quickly become an expensive habit, which can make them turn to crime.
Heroin has profound effects on the brain. It increases the amount of dopamine in the brain which causes increased feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Use of this drug activates the pleasure centers, interferes with the brain’s ability to feel pain and depresses the central nervous system. Short-term effects include: dizziness, feeling of euphoria, a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, constricted pupils, watery eyes, runny nose, heavy feeling in the extremities, severe itching, nausea, vomiting. Euphoric feelings are followed by drowsiness, clouded mental function or stupor. Feelings of well-being that may last 4–6 hours and decreased respiration and heart beat also occur.
Heroin abuse causes damage to the nervous system. It may also cause short- and long-term harm to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. New and chronic users alike can be victim of a heroin overdose. Rising levels of drug purity combined with by-products and impurities can lead to adverse reactions and overdoses. Symptoms of an overdose can be loss of consciousness pinpoint pupils, slow breathing, and clammy skin. They may enter a coma or suffer permanent damage, if they survive at all.
Heroin abuse is very dangerous. It may only take a few uses for someone to become addicted as more inexpensive, high-quality heroin becomes readily available. Heroin use causes increased dopamine and pleasure. In return, the body seeks a balance, and develops tolerance. Soon, the user needs more heroin. Resulting behavior can adversely affect relationships, career, finances, and potentially lead to legal troubles. Long-term effects of heroin include: severe addiction and withdrawal, bacterial infections, abscesses or boils, collapsed and scarred veins, infection of heart lining and valves, liver and kidney diseases, arthritis or other rheumatologic problems, increased risk of pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases.
Individuals who engage in heroin abuse by injecting the drug are at particular risk of infection with HIV, and hepatitis, by sharing unsterilized needles, and taking part in risky sexual behavior.
When a heroin abuser comes off a heroin high, they can experience painful physical withdrawal symptoms which can last from a week to several months. Heroin withdrawal symptoms include: severe muscle and bone pain, sweats, chills, appetite loss, insomnia, panic, tremors, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, uncontrollable body movements, elevated blood pressure, panic, depression, pulse, respiration, and temperature.
Withdrawal from heroin becomes a daily battle for long-term heroin users. Withdrawal from heroin addiction can prove fatal sometimes, and hospitalization is necessary for strong symptoms of withdrawal. A good drug treatment center is key in rehabilitation and a necessity. A good place to start would be a Florida rehabilitation center, which have some of the best treatment centers in the country.
Pure heroin is a white powder but because of additives and impurities, most heroin consists of a white to dark brown powder.
Heroin is often combined with sugar, starch, powdered milk, quinine, or strychnine, reducing purity and increasing quantity for greater profit for the dealers. Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected intravenously. Heroin is most often injected intravenously, for intense and quick results.
Young people participating in heroin use sniff, snort, and smoke heroin to avoid the risks of using needles, forgetting heroin's addictive quality which poses extreme danger. And any method of heroin use can result in overdoses and addiction. The drug is often used in combination with other illicit drugs, such as cocaine/crack, Valium, and alcohol.
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