The drug heroin has found its way into the hands of the high school populations of the Las Vegas Valley. It has been described as an escalation from prescription pill abuse; users are looking for a better high, and have been turning to heroin.
As 8newsnow.com reports, children are feeding their pill habits at home from their parents medicine cabinets.
Over time, addicts build tolerances to their drug of choice, either needing more or changing to something else, something more powerful. In this case, heroin is cheaper than trying to acquire prescription drugs and produces a more powerful high. Authorities in the Las Vegas Valley have been finding more and more instances of children in high schools, and even children at younger ages, shooting up heroin. It has formed into an epidemic.
What Is Heroin?
As described by drugfreeworld.com, heroin is highly addictive drug that effectively ruins the lives of its users. It is created from the opium, which is a naturally occurring substance in poppy plants, much like morphine. It is injected via usage of a syringe, which are often shared between users, raising the possibility of the transmission of contagious diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis. It is usually cut with other substances which are poisonous, which can lead to clotting within the blood. The clots may find their way to the vital organs, causing majors problems, such as strokes, which can lead to death.
Buyers of heroin are usually never aware of the potency or the makeup of what they are buying, which raises the stark and deadly possibility of overdosing. In 1990, the mortality rate of heroin users was rated to be 20 times higher than the users of any other kind of drug.
History Of Heroin
It was first created in 1898 by the Bayer Pharmaceutical company based out of Germany. It was marketed as a treatment for tuberculosis and also used as a remedy for morphine addiction. In the mid 1800s, opium addiction was a massive problem within the United States.
Morphine was introduced as a less potent, “non-addictive” substance to stem the opium addiction, but then became a large problem itself. So, heroin was introduced under the same means towards opium as opium was given for morphine. Heroin, of course, became its own problem as it was not, as with all of its predecessors, “non-addictive”.
In 1947, a drug named Dolophine was exported to the US and eventually renamed methadone which was used as a “non-addictive” remedy to heroin. Of course, methadone caused its own problems because it was still addictive, and the vicious cycle continues.
Heroin destroys the body in various ways. As with aforementioned blood clotting and overdosing, it also diminishes the immune system and causes users to lose weight very rapidly. It is truly a lethal drug that no one should even think of using. It is estimated that 1 in 4 users become immediately addicted to heroin upon first using it.
What This Means For The Residents Of The Las Vegas Valley
In the article “Narcotics Detectives: Heroin Epidemic Hitting Las Vegas Valley” put forth by 8newsnow.com, victims of this heroin epidemic are describing horrific fallout from their addictions, including not caring about anything else but using, getting kicked out from their homes and disowned by everyone they know.
An undercover agent, who asked to not be revealed in the story, reported to the news agency that addictions are starting with prescription drugs, and that teenagers are primarily affected. They are getting the prescription drugs, such as opiates and morphine, right out of their own homes.
He explains that heroin takes over the mind and the body of the victim. He states, to the parents and loved ones of the addicts, “They might lie to you, not because they don’t love you, but because they physiologically need this stuff. They know it’s wrong, so they are conflicted.”
Heroin addiction is no small thing. It tends to have the worst withdrawals of any drug out there, hence making relapses extremely common. The fatality rate of heroin users is extremely high.
Based on this, and that an “epidemic” of heroin usage is being reported in the Las Vegas Valley these days, the treatment and information used to combat heroin addiction, as well as prescription drug abuse, is paramount and must not be taken lightly. It must be shared openly with the public so as to decrease addiction rate and, ultimately, stem the tide of impending tragedy.