Heroin in Mesa
Just last week, Mesa police arrested multiple people in separate incidents over the weekend suspected of using heroin and intending to sell the narcotic. While searching a man and woman’s vehicle, police found: a syringe, a small piece of plastic containing a gray chalky substance later identified as heroin, two glass pipes with burn residue consistent with methamphetamine use, a prescription bottle with various pills, several straws and spoons, and a liquid prescription bottle labeled methadone that was not prescribed to either the man or woman.
Similarly, a 22-year-old man was pulled over during a routine traffic stop and officers discovered heroin in his vehicle as well. The following day, a 19-year-old man was found asleep in his vehicle with the keys still in the ignition. When police questioned him, he admitted to heroin use and had a black tongue, was “sweating profusely” and “seemed aloof” during the police interview (azcentral.com).
Heroin use is on the rise in the country. Some are very aware of its uses and danger, but many are still ignorant to what heroin really is. In a nutshell, heroin is a highly addictive drug that is processed from morphine, which is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin can be injected, snorted/sniffed, or smoked. In heroin’s purest form it is a fine, white powder but it can also be rose gray, brown or black. Toxic ingredients are usually mixed with heroin so the true purity of the drug and its strength is usually hard to really know.
Interestingly, research shows that there is no general description that fits a heroin user. They are young and old; although many of heroin’s newest addicts are in their teens or early 20s and come from middle- or upper-middle-class suburban families.
Tolerance to heroin develops with regular use, so after a short time more heroin is needed to produce the same level of intensity, which generally leads to addiction. Withdrawal symptoms, including: restlessness, diarrhea, cold flashes with goose bumps, insomnia, and muscle and bone pain, can begin just a few hours after the last use.
Approximately 13.5 million people in the world take opioids (opium-like substances), including 9.2 million who use heroin. Although the use of heroin in Mesa is not too extreme, recent arrests and activity indicate that it is a problem and that awareness and support are needed.