Drug Addiction

Heroin Facts

Heroin is a widely abused drug.  It is abused by young and old. Here, I will attempt to relay some of the basic heroin facts. Heroin is a highly addictive and fast acting opiate (a drug that is derived from opium). Specifically, heroin is produced from morphine, which is a primary component of opium. Opium is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seed of the opium poppy.

One of the primary heroin facts is the appearance of heroin which can very drastic. In the eastern United States, heroin is generally sold as a powder that is white (or off-white) in color. (Generally, the purer the heroin the whiter the color, because variations in color result from the presence of impurities.) In the western United States, most of the heroin available is a solid substance that is black in color. This type of heroin, known as black tar, may be sticky (like tar) or hard to the touch. Powdered heroin that is a dirty brown color also is sold in the western United States.

Here are some interesting heroin facts regarding how it is used. Heroin is often smoked using tin foil heated up underneath resulting in the heroin turning to a liquid form and the user inhales the fumes commonly called tooting or chasing the dragon. Although heroin is most commonly injected, usually abusers begin by snorting or smoking it thinking it is less harsh in this manner or they will not become addicted this way. At any rate, they will all become addicted and some point as it is not only a mental addiction but, physically addictive, as well. The body becomes physically dependent on the drug.

The following are a few additional heroin facts. Heroin slows people down giving them a feeling of warmth and detachment, depresses brain activity and widens blood vessels. High doses lead to drowsiness and sedation. Heroin can also lessen the desire to eat, blocks out both physical and mental pain, and can cause vomiting. Street heroin is often cut with other stuff, such as glucose or talcum powder. This itself may be dangerous and make it difficult to know how big a dose is being taken. Overdose is a real risk and can result in coma and death.

And finally, little know all the heroin facts.  As heroin leaves the brain and body, users experience withdrawal symptoms, which are often described as feeling like a severe case of flu. They include watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, loss of appetite, tremors, panic, chills, sweating, nausea, muscle cramps, and insomnia. Blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and temperature all elevate. People can overdose on heroin, which reduces the number of messages the brain sends to the chest muscles. The person's breathing slows, and if the dose is high enough, stops. Heroin use during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, stillbirths, placental abruptions, and sudden infant death syndrome.