What is Heroin
Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “Black tar heroin.” Heroin can be used by injecting, inhaling by snorting or sniffing, or smoked. Heroin, any way it is administered, is delivered to the brain very rapidly.
Heroin is a highly addictive drug
There is no cookie cutter heroin user. In fact, many of heroin’s newest addicts are in their teens or early 20s; many also come from middle- or upper-middle-class suburban families
Tolerance to heroin develops with regular use, so after a short time more heroin is needed to produce the same level of intensity. This results in addiction.
- Health risks to using heroin include:Fatal overdose, High risk of infections such as HIV/AIDS, Collapsed veins, Infection of the heart lining and valves, Liver disease
- When an addict stops using, they experience physical withdrawal which can begin within just a few hours since the last use. Symptoms include: Restlessness, Insomnia, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cold flashes with goose bumps, Muscle and bone pain
- Heroin was first manufactured in 1898 by the Bayer pharmaceutical company of Germany and marketed as a treatment for tuberculosis as well as a remedy for morphine addiction
- Health problems from heroin can be passed on to sexual partners and newborns
- Street names for heroin include: H, Junk, Smack, Big H, Hell Dust, Nose Drops, Thunder, Brown Sugar, Horse, Skag, Black Tar, White Horse, China White and Skunk.
- According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2012 about 669,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year,1 a number that has been on the rise since 2007
- The death rate from heroin overdose doubled in the 28 states from 2010 to 2012, increasing from 1.0 to 2.1 per 100,000 population, reflecting an increase in the number of deaths from 1,779 to 3,635
- In 2012, the age group with the highest heroin overdose death rate was aged 25–34 years