Heroin Essay, Research Paper
What do fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, collapsed veins, and infectious diseases all have in common? They are all serious health conditions that might occur if someone is abusing opiates. This includes heroin, also known as diacetyl morphine or diamorphine. Its abuse is more widespread than any other opiates. In this paper, opiates and heroin will be deeply discussed and their major effect on society.
What does it mean to be drugged? It means losing your health. It means losing the ability to learn. It means losing your family and friends. It means losing free will. It means losing the joy of living. When a person does drugs, it is likely that they will lose more than what they gain by the drug s effects. People only one desire in life- to get high. The attitude is now, What the hell do I care? Being drugged also means that there is the constant possibility of infection, disease, and even death. But that doesn t matter because an addict only wants their fix.
So what makes drugs so appealing to young people? Well might do it because it s something to help their social status- to be like their friends. They might be trying to numb the physical or mental suffering of life. Drugs offer a solution to many teenagers that think they don t have future. Lastly, doing drugs is dangerous and forbidden. It s a chance for them to do something that they know is wrong.
Opiates are a group of drugs, which are used medically to relieve pain, but also have a high potential for abuse. They tend to relax the user, which would make sense of the fact that once in the body, it will bring on a feeling of euphoria. Opiates are derived from papaver somniferum, an Asian poppy. Some opiates come from the resin that is extracted from the seed of the poppy. Generic names of some opiates are opium, morphine, heroin, oxycodone, oxymorphone, methadone, and hydrocodone. Heroin accounts for 90% of the opiate abuse in the United States. Sometimes, legal medicinal opiates are abused. They include morphine, meperidine, paregoric, and cough syrups that contain codeine. There are some very interesting street names for opiates. Some are Smack, Horse, M , Morpho, Big H, Black Tar, Brown Sugar, Hazel, George Smack, Joy powder, and White Lady. These are just some of the names that are used when casually talking about opiates.
General effects of opiates include sedation, slowed reflexes, slowed breathing, cold skin, vomiting. Physical effects will become evident 15-30 minutes after shooting, snorting, or smoking. Withdrawal will be the next step to kick in. Within 4-6 hours after the last fix , users might start to get chills, nausea, vomiting, and aches of the muscles and joints. From there, 14-36 hours from the last fix , they might possibly get gooseflesh, slight tremors, hot/cold flashes, insomnia, dilation of pupils, loss of appetite, and depression. The withdrawal symptoms will reach their peak 2-3 days after the last dose. At this point, the user will experience muscle and abdominal cramps, severe tremors and twitching, and more vomiting. The twitching in the legs, mainly, is referred to in the expression, kickin the habit. Signs of an overdose are depressed respiration, slow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and possibly death.
There are common physical dangers no matter which opiate a addict uses. The most dangerous are caused by using too much of the drug, unsterile needles/materials, contamination of the drug, or combining the drugs with other substances. In the health department, opiate users may develop over time infections of the heart lining and valves, skin abscesses, congested lungs, and problems with pregnancy. Many have spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, breeched deliveries, and other complications. The babies themselves will often have withdrawal symptoms. Most of the babies die because their bodies can t handle the tolerance to the drug.
Detoxification is one of the more widely used drug abuse treatments out there. It is a supervised withdrawal, which might or might not include medication. It occurs in a highly structures drug-free environment and addicts are encouraged to help themselves though out the process. There are also outpatient drug-free programs. It emphasizes various forms of counseling as the main treatment. Methadone, a synthetic opiate medication that blocks the effects of heroin for about 24 hours, has a proven record of success.
Here is the part of the paper that focuses on heroin. Where does heroin originate ? Heroin was developed in German pharmaceutical laboratories at the end of the 19th century. Heinrich Dreser manufactured it in 1898 at the Friedrich Bayer and company. Dreser found that heroin was a highly effective medicine in the treatment of coughs, chest pains, and the discomfort of tuberculosis. It also acted as a remedy for morphine addiction. The name itself comes from the Greek word heros, which means hero or warrior.
Heroin is made from poppy plants. Milky sap-like opium is taken from the pod and used to make morphine. From there, the sap is distilled and refined into heroin. Heroin is two to three times as strong as morphine. This is because the drug apparently crosses the membrane between the brain and blood more quickly. But by the time heroin has gotten to the brain, it has been reconverted to morphine, right before it binds to the brain tissue.
In heroin s purest form, it is a fine powder that is white in color. It can also be rose, gray, brown, or black. The color depends on the purity of the drug and what has been used to cut it. On the street, heroin is a black, sticky substance that is known as Black Tar heroin. Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is cut with other drugs. This might be sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Street heroin can also be cut with strychnine or other poisons.
There are three basic ways to use heroin. It can be injected, sniffed/snorted, or smoked. A typical user will inject up to four times a day. Intravenous injection provides the greatest intensity of euphoria. This can occur in only 8 seconds. When heroin is smoked or sniffed, the peak effects are usually felt within 10-15 minutes. Heroin can be smoked in a water pipe or standard pipe, mixed in a marijuana joint or even a regular cigarette. When heroin is snorted, it is inhaled as smoke through a straw. This process is known as chasing the dragon . There is an increase in new, younger groups using heroin because the drug no longer has to be only injected. Heroin is also appearing in more wealthy communities.