Heroin is one of the most addictive and destructive substances known to man today. Almost instantaneously addictive, heroin is known for not being just a “recreational drug”, but one that gets people hooked in and then destroys their lives. It is a very dangerous substance to be using, and heroin addicts meet a tragic end all too often.
When used, heroin produces a euphoric high that lasts for hours and hours, leaving the person nearly incapacitated. The user acts drowsy and incoherent, unable to respond to things around them, leaving them dangerously vulnerable to things that could happen to them.
Nausea And Vomiting
It is not uncommon for someone to experience nausea or actual vomiting when they use heroin. Heroin slows the heart rate and depresses the breathing, leading to the dangerous possibility of cardiac arrest, wherein the heart stops, or respiratory failure, both of which are immediately fatal. This can happen during a common unconsciousness that can follow heroin usage. Heroin overdoses most always result in these side effects and are thus almost always fatal unless treated immediately.
The long term effects of using heroin can be gruesome and permanently damaging. Abscesses can form in the area that the heroin needle is injected, usually the inside of the elbow, and if not treated immediately, amputation might have to happen to the arm wherein the using is occurring. The veins in the area start to fall apart from the constant heroin usage, which leads to internal bleeding, and then to the abscesses.
Other Dangers Associated With IV Drug Use
It is also not uncommon for someone to acquire a disease such as AIDS from sharing needles, since it is hard to come by clean ones on the streets. Once the needles are shared, diseased blood gets stuck in the syringe and the chamber, and mixes with the next load of heroin, and is thus directly injected into the next user, infecting them.
But people do get off of heroin and survive, getting clean and staying clean for the rest of their lives. There are many, many treatment centers and detox facilities across the country ready to help anyone who is looking to get off of their heroin addiction. People who go through these facilities and absorb all the help and knowledge that is there for the taking, they emerbge a new and sober person, ready for a life free of heroin.
Such is the case of actor Russell Brand, known best for his acting roles in “Get Him To The Greek”, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and the reincarnation of the classic movie “Arthur”. Brand recently opened up about his addictions on to Oprah on her show Oprah Prime. He talked about the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the nature of the disease of addiction. Brand explained in a column that he wrote about Hoffman that he completely understood why Hoffman relapsed.
Weighing In On Hoffman Relapse
“There is the predominant voice in the mind of an addict that supersedes all reason and that voice wants you dead,” he wrote.
“The reason why I won’t use drugs today or drink today is because I know that I can’t manage it,” he explained to Oprah. “The first thing you have to do is accept that, one day at a time, you can’t use or take drugs.”
“If anything positive can come from Philip Seymour Hoffman, it’s that. It’s that it doesn’t make sense unless you can accept that addiction is an illness. It doesn’t make sense any other way. Otherwise people go, ‘Why did he do that?’”
It is good to see that Russell Brand is detailing these bits about the nature of the disease of addiction, because it is very true that it does not otherwise make sense. He is providing a good example to those people in the world who do not understand the disease and is letting us know that there is hope for people out there who struggle with the disease of addiction today.