Heroin is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs that a person can use. Being addicted to heroin is in many ways a life threatening disease, and use of this potentially lethal drug has been rising dramatically over the last several years. Though heroin addiction continues to be an epidemic that plagues millions, there is still much that people do not know about this drug. Here are ten facts about heroin and heroin abuse that you may not have known.
- Heroin Addiction May Strike Anyone The notion that there is such a thing as a "typical" heroin addict is incorrect and potentially harmful. Like all kinds of addictions, it is possible for a person of any age, gender, and socioeconomic background to become addicted to heroin.
- Heroin is a Derivative of Morphine Heroin is an opiate, which means that it is part of a classification of drugs that are derived from the poppy plant. Other opiates in the same family as heroin include drugs like prescription painkillers oxycontin.
- There is No Safe Way to Ingest Heroin Heroin can be ingested into the body in a number of different ways. It may be smoked, snorted, or ingested, and all three methods send the drug to the brain at a very rapid rate. Some people may mistakenly believe that one form of ingesting the drug is less harmful than others, but this is not the case. All forms of ingesting heroin can be equally addictive and may put a person at a severe risk for overdose.
- Overdosing is Not the Only Danger Presented By Heroin Overdosing is certainly a major danger presented by heroin use, but it is not the only serious health problem that may occur as part of heroin addiction. Heroin users may be prone to HIV infection, as well as infection of the heart, lungs, and liver. Users who inject the drug may risk collapsed veins.
- Withdrawal From Heroin Can Occur After Just One Use Heroin is such a strong and addictive drug that a person who uses it may find themselves going through withdrawals as early as the first use. Heroin withdrawal is often very severe and uncomfortable. A person going through heroin withdrawal may experience nausea, cold flashes, aches, vomiting, and insomnia. It is generally recommended that when an addict is ready to stop using they do so with the support of a professional team. Withdrawal symptoms may last as long as a full week after the last time of use.
- Heroin Was Originally Used as a Painkiller Much like the opiates that are commonly prescribed today for pain, heroin was originally manufactured as a remedy for severe pain as well as a means of easing morphine addiction. Heroin was introduced to users in 1898 by the Bayer pharmaceutical company.
- Heroin Use and Addiction is Currently Rampant The current statistics on heroin use are anything but hopeful. As many as 9.2 million people in the world currently take heroin itself and another 9 million are addicted to opiates. State and local governments across the United States are working to find ways of reducing instances of addiction as well as means of reducing the number of deaths among those who are already addicted to the drug.
Heroin In It's Pure Form Is White The heroin that is sold on the black market is generally cut with another substance, which also may be quite dangerous. Street heroin can take a number of different forms and may appear as black, grey, or brown. Batches of heroin are very inconsistent, which is a fact that leads to many deaths by overdose.