Heroin is an opioid drug that is created from morphine. Opioids are natural substances taken from the seed pod of a variety of opium poppy plants that are grown in various areas. However, just because heroin originates from an organic source does not mean it is safe. Heroin is known by many names but some of the common ones are big H, hell dust, horse, and smack. Heroin is injected, sniffed, snorted, or smoked. Some people even mix heroin and cocaine in a practice known as speedballing.
Heroin Effects On The Body
Heroin has many effects on the body, but the most obvious is that it binds to opioid receptors at the cellular level that are located in many areas. These include many that are involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. These also control heart rate, breathing, and sleeping. This means that heroin use is very dangerous and can easily be deadly.
Even with the possibility of death at every use, many addicts partake in heroin use as often as possible. The short term effects of heroin use include a rush of pleasurable or euphoric feelings. But also include dry mouth, warm flushing of the skin, and a heavy feeling in the arms and legs. Many also experience itching, nausea, vomiting, mental cloudiness, and nodding that appears as someone falling in and out of consciousness. These effects may vary some between and among users, but the majority will experience them at some point. Additionally, long term effects of heroin use include insomnia, damaged tissue, infection of the heart lining, abscesses, mental disorders, sexual dysfunction. And so much more.
Heroin goes beyond the problems mentioned as it often contains additives like sugar, powdered milk, and starch that can clog blood vessels that lead to liver, lung, brain, and kidney problems that are long lasting. This means heroin is dangerous well beyond the actual drug as the body of the user is damaged by other ingredients. Many heroin users also share needles or other equipment that can help spread diseases. Diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV), and several other blood or fluid borne diseases that can create problems for years to come.
Heroin abuse also comes with a chance of overdose from the very first use. As heroin causes breathing to slow the amount of oxygen to the brain is decreased. This is known as hypoxia and can cause brain damage or death. Brain damage could lead to coma, being paralyzed, or other long time or permanent complications. A treatment for heroin overdose is available in the form of Naloxone which is available as both an inject-able or a nasal spray. While Naloxone is typically available to paramedics and at hospitals. It must be used quickly to bring someone back from overdose. More and more states are making Naloxone available without a prescription, but this is not in all areas.
If you or someone you love has a heroin addiction then now is the time to seek help. Help can come in the form of in-patient rehab or out patient counseling, but help needs to be sought as soon as possible. Getting away from a heroin addiction is difficult, but possible. Stay strong and get the help that is needed.
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