History Of Heroin Discovery And The Dangerous Epidemic It Led To
Heroin (like opium and morphine) is made from the resin of poppy plants. Milky, sap-like opium is first removed from the pod of the poppy flower. This opium is refined to make morphine, then further refined into different forms of heroin. This drug is dangerously addictive and illegal in the United States of America. As of the mid-1800s, opium was a popular drug which was used as medical and recreational purposes. Soon it became more of an addiction than a help to the working American people.
As the Civil War began, a new drug was born of opium in 1811. Morphine which was used as a drug to cure Alcoholism, but then became a medication for the injured soldiers at the time of the Civil War. Doctors at the time started to see the addicting factors of this drug and didn’t know how to stop it. In 1898, a Bayer pharmaceutical company of Germany were the first to manufacture heroin as a result of the stop the growing morphine addiction. Heroin was supposed to be non-addicting and safe for households, but that was far from the truth. Heroin was even more addicting and has been present in America ever since.
Heroin can get into the body in many different ways and people are getting more creative with how they use this drug. People can inject, sniff, snort, smoke, or mixed heroin. Mixing heroin with crack cocaine is a practice known as speedballing. Using these methods can have effects on the brain as heroin will enter your brain and it will attach to molecules on the cells known as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are found in many areas of the body and brain, areas that are involved with pain and pleasure and a part of the brain that regulates breathing.
Short term effects of heroin may include clouded thinking or a good feeling like being high. Effects like these can last for a few hours and while on this drug you may feel drowsy, lower heart rate and breathing. Of Course, the drug will wear off but people may still crave the feeling that heroin gives them and will continue to use the drug before they realize they are addicted to the drug. Using heroin on repeat can because you to be tolerance to the drug, meaning you will need more to get the feeling of being high. Also, you will have to be dependent on it because you will fear the withdrawal symptoms and on top of all these things, you will become an addict.
Heroin doesn’t just affect the brain and give you the feeling of being high, it also causes physical hurt on the body as well. Located in the brain, brain stem, down the spinal cord, and in the lungs and intestines are opioid receptors. So, using heroin can cause a major amount of physical problems such as dry mouth, severe itching, and many more. Mixed with alcohol can cause someone to fall into a coma or even death. Those were short-term effects but even worse are the long-term effects. Which include, Problems sleeping, damage tissue in the nose, infection in the heart, or liver and kidney damage.
Aside from the effects of the drug alone, Heroin brought from the streets may contain fentanyl which is cheap for the dealer but causes the blood vessels to clog leading to the lungs, brain, kidney, or liver. Sharing Heroin needles gives you a high chance to get diseases such as HIV or types of Hepatitis. As of 2017, more than 15,000 people overdose on heroin and died. Signs of an overdose may include blue lips/fingers, slow breathing, shaking, or throwing up. If you know someone who is
having these symptoms you need to get emergency medical help as quickly as possible. Naloxone is carried by police officers, EMTs, and other first responders. When this drug is given it can reverse the overdose of Heroin. If given in time, it can prevent death and save that person’s life.
In the year 2016, over 626,000 had a heroin use disorder in the U.S. alone. Of these people with heroin use disorder were 152,000 young adults, aging from 18 to 25 and 1,000 were teenagers, aging from 12 to 17. Meaning Heroin is highly addictive and suggests that once teens leave the home, they are more likely to use heroin and get addicted. People using heroin over and over again can, can lead to addiction and once that happens, seeking the drug is their only goal in life. People trying to quit heroin may experience horribly painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Making it very difficult for someone who is addicted to heroin to quit.
Symptoms of withdrawal of Heroin can vary among people and affect them differently. Throwing up, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, and a strong craving for the drug are some signs of withdrawal. Muscle and bone pain, cold flashes with chills and restlessness are the other typical symptoms of withdrawal from Heroin. Addiction can be treated in many ways ranging from medicines and behavioral therapies. These can be effective in helping people to stop using heroin. Of course, the treatment will be approached by the person special need to make sure they get the best treatment.
Heroin was born in the late 1800s and has been present in America since the 1800s. Heroin is highly addictive and quitting may be the hardest thing a person has to do. Considering the painful withdrawal symptom a person will experience the likelihood of quitting is slim to nothing for some addicts. Heroin is a dangerous drug that should not be used by any age group and is settling rising higher then it has ever been in years. An epidemic that can only be stopped by the higher restrictions on heroin and cheaper treatment.
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