Utah Heroin Rehab / Information
Heroin is an addictive, illegal drug made from the opium poppy, Papaver Somniferum.
Heroin is processed from morphine. Morphine is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder.
Heroin is smoked or inhaled as a powder or it can be mixed with water, heated, and then injected. Heroin crosses through the blood brain barrier 100 times faster than morphine because it is highly soluble in lipids.
How is it taken?
Heroin can either be smoked or injected. A drug addict will often start taking Heroin by smoking the drug this is commonly called “Tooting”. The user will place the Heroin onto silver foil and warm it up from underneath with a lighter or candle. As the Heroin melts it turns into a ball of fluid, which will roll along the silver foil, leaving a trail of black residue. Once it gets to this stage it gives off fumes which are inhaled using a ball point pen with the center removed or a silver foil rolled up into a tube, or a similar implement. After a short period of use addicts will find themselves doing more and more lines in a day due to more of the drug being required to have the same effect. Once this starts happening and more drugs are required the addicts find themselves spending more and more money. Often the next step is to start injecting as this will hit the spot much faster and less of the drug is required. Injecting Heroin is like a ritual for the user. Once the Heroin is purchased the preparation starts. Firstly everything will be put out on display and placed in order. The kit includes Heroin, syringe with needle, spoon, lighter or candle, cigarette filter, belt, citric acid and water. The Heroin is put onto the spoon with citric acid, the right amount of water will then be mixed with the Heroin and citric acid (the citric acid is used to breakdown the Heroin so it can be injected). At the same time the spoon is held over the heat source so all the three substances are mixed together. Once mixed, a cigarette filter will be placed onto the spoon, the solution will then be drawn up the syringe through the filter, this is to filter out any impurities. It is now ready to be injected into a vein usually in the arm. The belt or similar implement such as a shoe lace is tied tightly around the arm to stop the blood flow, this will cause the veins to stand out for easier injection. After long periods of use the veins will become damaged and other areas of the body are used for injecting into. Other places used are in the groin area, behind the knees or in serious cases in the neck. It has been known for addicts’ veins to collapse.
What are some medical complications associated?
Heroin abuse is associated with serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, collapsed veins, and, particularly in users who inject the drug, infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
What are the signs someone is using heroin?
Sleep pattern will change dramatically
(usually lack of sleep during the night)
Staying in the bedroom away from others who don’t use the drug
Not going out with usual friends to the pub etc.
Silver foil will start to disappear
Lack of money
Hyper and more energy than usual
Personal items (stereos, game machines, computers etc.) get sold to feed the addiction
Money starts to disappear
Dramatic weight loss
Looking pale and gaunt in the face (no color)
Eye pupils very small, with little reaction
Don’t keep personal hygiene up to standard
Loss of interest in cooked meals, depressed appetite
Eating lots of sweet foods like chocolate bars and yogurts
Lies (a drug addict will tell blatant lies to try and cover his tracks)
In trouble with the law
Parents often mistake the effects of Heroin use with alcohol use
(but no smell of alcohol would be present)
What are the short term effects?
The short term effects of heroin usually appear immediately after a single dose, and disappear within a few minutes or hours.
Heroin usually makes the user feel a surge of euphoria, followed by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth and heavy extremities. After the initial euphoria, the user goes “on the nod,” an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Mental functioning becomes clouded due to the depression of the central nervous system.
What are the long term effects?
The user may develop a tolerance to Heroin’s high and may need to use more to experience the same level of pleasure. Chronic heroin users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, cellulitis, and liver disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health condition of the abuser, as well as from heroin’s depressing effects on respiration.
Is it hard to quit?
Yes! It’s not just Heroin that is addictive, other Opiates are just as addictive. A short period of use taking Heroin or other Opiates changes the way the nerve cells in the brain work. These cells rely on the drugs to function and become dependent on it. When a regular user stops taking the drug the nerve cells become very active and start craving for the drug, causing withdrawal symptoms, which is commonly known as “cold turkey.” Cold turkey is a common name for a drug addict who is going through the withdrawal symptoms to try and kick the addiction, also know as detoxification or detox. This usually occurs between 8 and 24 hours after the last intake of the drug. There are a lot of symptoms as the body starts to get all its feelings back, after the long term drug abuse. Most addicts will have similar symptoms, such as diarrhea, aches and pains, cramps in the stomach, vomiting, sweats and cold chills. The person who is having the withdrawal symptoms may feel that they are dying (and in a lot of cases go straight back on Heroin after a couple of days). Those who manage to carry on will have the symptoms for between 4 to 8 days. Unfortunately, still not much help is available at this stage; the only thing to do is take painkillers and diarrhea tablets, which may help a little. After the cold turkey stage the battle is still on. This is just the start of the recovery period. The next step is to get the brain sorted out, as the craving is still there and the addict still wants his or her fix. At this stage counseling and blockers are usually needed to help the addict through the everyday tasks they have to contend with
Call our toll free, 24 hour Utah Heroin Rehab HELPLINE today at 1-888-576-HEAL (4325).
All calls are confidential. Source(s): U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse