Hitting New Highs with Heroin
Heroin, or as it is known by its chemical name diacetylmorphine, is the fastest-acting and most potent of the opiate drugs. More and more addicts are seeking drug rehab as heroin addiction is probably the most difficult, and painful, addiction to move past. What makes today’s epidemic even more frightening than previous surges in heroin use is its relationship with prescription opioids: many new users seek out heroin as a cheaper alternative to OxyContin or Vicodin, which are widely prescribed in the country for pain relief. New research is revealing that these prescription drugs are as highly addictive as their street alternatives, and so people who may have been given them by a doctor after an operation or accident may find they continue to crave similar chemicals long after their prescription has ended. The purity of street heroin is never a sure thing, and this related to the increasing amount of users may explain the unbelievable rise in fatal overdoses. Heroin has reached a new peak of popularity and danger, and users are urged to seek out a drug rehab before it’s too late.
The Effects of Heroin
Most people are aware (thanks largely to movies!) that heroin can be consumed in a number of ways; it can be smoked, insufflated (snorted) or injected directly into the bloodstream. While these methods may alter the intensity of the ‘high’, one danger remains the same: after the initial euphoria users lose all of their energy and spend the next couple of hours in a half-sleep state, sometimes referred to as ‘the nod’. It is during this phase that users risk losing consciousness and falling into a coma, and on some occasions breathing is slowed down to the point of stopping, and the body may simply shut down. Because many users of heroin are more familiar with controlled prescription painkillers they may misjudge the amount they use, which can lead to a fatal overdose.
It’s no secret in the drug trade that most substances are mixed, or ‘cut’, with other chemicals or powders to increase the total amount of the product. Heroin purchased on the street will never be pure: it’s made its way from South America or South-east Asia and has changed hands more than a dozen times before it finds its way into the pockets of a street dealer. Each time the product is traded, the purity of the drug will decrease. This may seem like a good thing, as heroin may be less potent in such a form, but in reality the chemicals with which the pure drug is cut may be just as dangerous. Sometimes, heroin will be mixed with rather harmless fillers like powdered milk or sugars, but others it may contain potentially lethal contaminants like rat poison or laundry detergent. Misjudging the purity of heroin is one of the leading causes of fatal overdoses among users.
Withdrawal from Heroin
Detoxification from heroin must be closely monitored by a drug rehab as the patients’ body will undergo painful physical changes. Getting off heroin is widely regarded as a very difficult process which requires a lot of time and patience.
Professional support is highly recommended during this process. Individuals seeking to kick their heroin addiction should seek a drug rehab as soon as possible.