Heroin

Heroin (like opium and morphine) is made from the resin of poppy plants that predominantly grow in South America and, to a lesser extent, Southeast Asia. Milky, sap-like opium is first removed from the pod of the poppy flower and then refined to make morphine. The morphine is refined further into different forms of heroin.

Heroin is most often sold as a white, pink, or brownish powder that has been “cut.” “Cut” means something was used to dilute the heroin, namely sugar, powdered milk, quinine caffeine or other substances. Street heroin is dangerously sometimes “cut” with strychnine or other poisons. The various additives that have been “cut” into the heroin often do not fully dissolve, and when the are injected into the body, can clog the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, kidneys or brain leading to infection or destruction of vital organs.

Heroin bought on the street carries an additional risk: the user never knows the actual strength of the heroin they are buying. Because of this, users are constantly at risk of an overdose.

Street names for heroin include:

Big H

Brown Sugar

H

Hell Dust

Horse

Junk

Nose Drops

Skag

Smack

Thunder

source: drugfreeworld.org

Common Street Drugs Part 2: Meth, Weed, Heroin

This part 2 follow up discusses 3 more dangerous street drugs that are commonly being used in the U.S. today. Although awareness about the dangers of drug abuse has grown considerably over the last few decades, the problem of addiction continues to exist and, in some cases, is on the increase. Meth, Heroin, and Marijuana are spoken about in the news often. With prescription painkiller addictions turning into street heroin addictions on the rise throughout the entire country and legalization of marijuana in so many states, these drugs pose a new threat that wasn’t around a decade ago because of their easier access.

  1. Methamphetamine – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?
  • Meth is a stimulant often marketed under the name Desoxyn. It is is highly addictive. It was known for being a drug made at home at one time, but because of recent laws, meth ingredients are tougher to get so most of it is coming from South American and Mexico. Meth is ingested by being snorted, swallowed, injected or smoked. Often users change methods. Street names for meth include: Crystal Glass Stove Top, Trash Black Beauties, Chalk, Crank, Yaba. In 2015, agents recovered record setting amounts: 1,686 grams.

2. Heroin – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Heroin is made from opium, a naturally occurring substance extracted from poppies and it has no accepted medical use, no accepted safe procedure for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for addiction and abuse. Known on the street as Black Tar, Chiva, Smack, Hell Dust, Horse, Negra or Thunder, it comes as a white or brownish powder, or as a black, sticky substance and is typically snorted, injected, or smoked. Often,heroin is cut with other substances such as sugar or powdered milk. Abuse of heroin is widespread and is on the rise. Many law enforcement agencies point to the increase in prescription painkillers as a problem, since many turn to street heroin once their prescriptions are no longer valid.

3. Marijuana – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Marijuana is a plant that is grown inside or outdoors in North and South America as well as in Asia. The street names for marijuana include: dope, grass, pot, skunk, smoke, weed, yerba, and boom. Marijuana is addictive and as been shown to decrease brain function. Agents are constantly seizing marijuana based drug It is one of the most common street drugs and is also the best known among high school and college aged kids who abuse drugs. With recent changes in marijuana legalization, many seem to turn a blind eye to some of its harmful effects when it is not used for medicinal purposes. The use of marijuana is very widespread.

 

Source: usatoday.com

 

whatisheroinWhat Exactly is Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive, illegal drug processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed-pod of poppy plants that predominantly grow in South America and, to a lesser extent, from Southeast Asia. In its purest form, heroin is a fine white powder. It most often sold as a white, pink, or brownish powder that has been “cut.” “Cut” means something was used to dilute the heroin, namely sugar, powdered milk, quinine caffeine or other substances. Street heroin is dangerously sometimes “cut” with strychnine or other poisons.

The various additives that have been “cut” into the heroin often do not fully dissolve, and when the are injected into the body, can clog the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, kidneys or brain leading to infection or destruction of vital organs.

Heroin bought on the street carries an additional risk: the user never knows the actual strength of the heroin they are buying. Because of this, users are constantly at risk of an overdose.

Street names for heroin include:

  • Big H
  • Brown Sugar
  • H
  • Hell Dust
  • Horse
  • Junk
  • Nose Drops
  • Skag
  • Smack
  • Thunder

 

Today’s Heroin

The face of today’s heroin users may not be what many of us think of. Most of us are likely to think of heroin addicts or users and criminals or someone who lurks in back alleys. Today’s heroin users, however, are our friends and neighbors, our co-workers and church congregation members.

Sadly, drug use became more prevalent among children in the last few decades. Some children smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol when still very young. Today children are exposed to and participating in these behaviors more than ever. By the time kids graduate from high school, nearly 40% of all teens will have tried marijuana. Some later move on to more addictive substances.

Although it cannot be assumed that all children who smoke marijuana today will become heroin addicts tomorrow, the danger exists. And long-term studies of high school students (drugfreeworld.org) show that few teens use other drugs without first having tried marijuana. With the increase use of marijuana due to legalization, this is worrisome. Once a person can no longer get the initial “rush” they seek from something like marijuana, they may begin to increase drug consumption or to look for something stronger.

Sadly, the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more than 9.5% of youths aged 12 to 17 in the US were current illegal drug users. Further, in 2008, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported that daily marijuana use among college students had doubled, and use of cocaine and heroin was on the rise as well. Along with that, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, estimated that 16 million people worldwide used opiates—opium, morphine, heroin and synthetic opiates.

Today’s heroin user could be 12 years old, play video games and enjoy the music of his generation. He could appear smart, stylish and bear none of the common traces of heroin use, such as needle marks on his arm. Because heroin is available in various forms that are easier to consume (such as pills) and more affordable forms as well, it is more tempting than ever. It used to be that heroin was injected using needles but now young people (and older people as well) who may have thought twice about injecting themselves with a drug via a needle may not hesitate to consume heroin in easier ways that seem less risky. Teaching young people about the dangers of heroin and public awareness about heroin addiction prevention is key is saving many people from a lifetime of sorrow, health issues, and destruction.

 

heroin02Short and Long-Term Effects of Heroin

The heroin epidemic raging across the United States is wrecking lives and leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Although heroin effects are known to be frightening, many do not realize the direct effects of heroin. There are several short-term effects as well as long-term effects that users experience.

Immediately, however, heroin users will most often experience a rush -which is often accompanied by a warm feeling of the skin and a dry mouth. Sometimes, but not often, the initial reaction can include vomiting or severe itching. Following the rush, the heroin user may become drowsy for several hours. Basic body functions such as breathing and heartbeat slow down.

 

Short-term effects include:

  • “Rush”
  • Clouded mental functioning
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sedation; drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Hypothermia (body temperature lower than normal)
  • Coma or death is possible (due to overdose)

 

Long-term effects include:

  • Bad teeth
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Constipation
  • Cold sweats
  • Itching
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Coma
  • Respiratory (breathing) illnesses
  • Muscular weakness, partial paralysis
  • Reduced sexual capacity and long-term impotence in men
  • Menstrual disturbance in women
  • Inability to achieve orgasm (women and men)
  • Loss of memory and intellectual performance
  • Introversion
  • Depression
  • Pustules on the face
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia

 

internationalInternational Stats on Heroin

Many of us think that the heroin epidemic is limited to the United States. However, some recent data shows that it is truly a worldwide problem many are fighting to overcome. Heroin is not the only drug being battled internationally, however, in fact, the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime reported recently that “drug use prevalence continues to be stable around the world, according to the 2015 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It is estimated that a total of 246 million people – slightly over 5 per cent of those aged 15 to 64 years worldwide – used an illicit drug in 2013. Some 27 million people are problem drug users, almost half of whom are people who inject drugs (PWID). An estimated 1.65 million of people who inject drugs were living with HIV in 2013. Men are three times more likely than women to use cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines, while women are more likely to misuse prescription opioids and tranquillizers.”

Here are four shocking stats about heroin that may be helpful to share with loved ones in order to prevent drug abuse:

  • An estimated 13.5 million people in the world take opioids (opium-like substances), including 9.2 million who use heroin.
  • A recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported 153,000 current heroin users in the US. Other estimates give figures as high as over 1 million.
  • This is not just a problem is the US- opiates, mainly heroin, were involved in four of every five drug-related deaths in Europe, according to a 2008 report from the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction.
  • In 2007, internationally, 93% of the world’s opium supply came from Afghanistan. (Opium is the raw material for heroin) Its total export value was about $4 billion, of which almost three quarters went to traffickers. About a quarter went to Afghan opium farmers.

mostatriskThose Most at Risk for Heroin Addiction

With the recent spike in opioid addictions and the epidemic that seems to be sweeping across the United States, it is noteworthy to point out some traits that occur in individuals that are most likely to become addicted to heroin. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) put together a list of characteristics which most exemplify those at risk:

  • People who are addicted to prescription opioid painkillers
  • People who are addicted to cocaine
  • People without insurance or enrolled in Medicaid
  • Non-Hispanic whites
  • Males
  • People who are addicted to marijuana and alcohol
  • People living in a large metropolitan area
  • 18 to 25 year olds

Upon examination of the list, it is apparent why there is such an increase in heroin addictions. Gone are the days when the risks of addiction were slight and specific – limited to very specific demographics. With these traits the CDC has identified, is it easy to see that so many of us possess the risk qualities for heroin addiction.

unplannedpregnancyUnplanned Pregnancies and Heroin

A recent study examined the prevalence of unplanned pregnancy among women who use heroin. There is much data on statistics related to unplanned pregnancies, however, data is lacking on unplanned pregnancies and women who use heroin. In the general population, 31%-47% of pregnancies are unplanned.

The study looked at pregnant women who were abusing heroin and examined socio-demographic characteristics, current and past drug use, and pregnancy intention. Interestingly, the researchers found that nearly 9 of every 10 pregnancies where the mother used heroin were unplanned (86%). Also of note is that despite pregnancy intention, more than 90% of the women had a history of drug abuse treatment, averaging at least three treatment episodes.

The study brings light to the fact that interventions are desperately needed to address the extremely high rate of unplanned pregnancy among women who abuse heroin.

Drugabuse.gov reports that, ”The number of past-year heroin users in the United States nearly doubled between 2005 and 2012, from 380,000 to 670,000. Heroin abuse, like prescription opioid abuse, is dangerous both because of the drug’s addictiveness and because of the high risk for overdosing.  In the case of heroin, this danger is compounded by the lack of control over the purity of the drug injected and its possible contamination with other drugs. In 2010, there were 2,789 fatal heroin overdoses, approximately a 50 percent increase over the relatively constant level seen during the early 2000s.  What was once almost exclusively an urban problem is spreading to small towns and suburbs.” They also point out that heroin abuse is often associated with risky sexual behavior, which often leads to unplanned pregnancies.

Source: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

whitehouseheroinWhite House Plans to Spend Millions to Fight Heroin

The CNN White House producer reported this week that the White House announced a new initiative of $2.5 million to fund fighting heroin trafficking along the Eastern seaboard. That part of the country has seen a recent spike in the last few years, and the White House is working to combat it.

The White House plan will include 15 states from the area and is aiming to focus more on addiction treatment and prevention than consequences. In effect, law enforcement agencies and public health officials will be paired in creating new heroin response teams who will communicate regarding the information obtained after heroin overdose incidents and drug raids. They also hope to map the trafficking routes of heroin distribution and train their first responders to treat overdoses more effectively. Further, the report indicates that officials want more access to a drug that is used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose, naloxone.

The CNN report also indicated that the White House plan was motivated by the huge increase in heroin use nation wide. For instance, just since 2002, overdose deaths from heroin have nearly quadrupled. This growing epidemic correlates with the increase in use of addictive prescription opiates, as well as the extensive availability of inexpensive heroin.

Father Speaks Up about Daughter’s Fatal Heroin Overdose

A recent article posted by Fox13 Salt Lake City discussed how one father’s honest obituary concerning his daughter’s heroin overdose has prompted other parents of addicted children to continue to be “as supportive as possible” in helping recovery happen.

Tom Parks, of Manchester, New Hampshire, candidly wrote on Facebook about his daughter’s fight against her heroin addiction. He said, “I’m not looking for sympathy but I want people to know that our lives are made up of the choices we make and for some death is a matter of choice too. My daughter Molly Parks made many good choices in her too short life and she made some bad choices. She tried to fight addiction in her own way and last night her fight came to an end in a bathroom of a restaurant with a needle of heroin. Her whole family tried to help her win the battle but we couldn’t show her a way that could cure her addiction. We will always love her and miss her. If you have a friend or a relative who is fighting the fight against addiction please do everything you can to be supportive. Maybe for your loved one it’ll help. Sadly for ours it didn’t. I hope my daughter can now find the peace that she looked for here on earth.”

Molly had recently finished drug rehab for the third time and was working as a pizza delivery driver in Manchester at the time of her overdose. He family believed that she was doing well and had improved significantly. Her obituary states, “Molly graduated from Old Orchard Beach High School in 2009 and attended one year at SMCC until her addiction took over. Most recently, she was employed as a delivery driver for Portland Pie Co. in Manchester, NH…Along Molly’s journey through life, she made a lot of bad decisions including experimenting with drugs. She fought her addiction to heroin for at least five years and had experienced a near fatal overdose before. Molly’s family truly loved her and tried to be as supportive as possible as she struggled with the heroin epidemic that has been so destructive to individuals and families in her age bracket…If you have any loved one’s who are fighting addiction, Molly’s family asks that you do everything possible to be supportive, and guide them to rehabilitation before it is too late.”

The obituary highlights this father’s sincere love for his daughter and the touching way in which he pleads for others to understand their loved one’s addictions is very moving. Loving individuals through addiction recovery can be extremely discouraging and challenging. However, as Tom Parks emphasizes, it is so important to continue to support your loved ones through heroin addiction recovery or any other type of addiction recovery and get them the help they need.

Source: fox13now.com

© 2019 Turning Point Centers | All Rights Reserved
Font Resize