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Resons for Addiction: Heroin

Updated on July 19, 2012

You may have known or come in contact with a person that is struggling and suffering from a heroin addiction, but how much do you truly know about their situation? In this article i aiming to educate and inform you of this important information regarding heroin addiction, what heroin is and how people become addicted in the first place. Understanding the effects and the reasoning behind drug abuse will help you not only to avoid flirting with addiction but will also empower you with the knowledge and the capability to better understand it.

Heroin in its different forms
Heroin in its different forms

What is heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive, illegal drug that belongs to the opiate variety. It is the fastest acting and most greatly abused drug out of all opiates. In 1874 C.R. Alder Wright created heroin (known also as diamorphine) by taking a morphine molecule and combined it with two acetyl groups. "Pure heroin", as its referred to, is a solid or rock variation that is created with hydrochloride. The pure solid is then taken and illegally produced into a white powder where it is commonly sold for recreation. Black tar heroin is different in that it only contains a small percentage of actual heroin that is combined with a mixture of other morphine derivatives.

How does heroin work?

The exact reasoning that heroin effects the body the way it does is not completely understood. However what we do know is that like other opiates, heroin attacks and depresses the central nervous system. Opiates are picked up by receptors that are intended for your bodies endorphins (natural pain killers). Once heroin enters the body it binds with these receptors enhancing the effects and duration of the endorphins creating an ultimate painkilling effect. The heroin user is then overcome by a "rush" of pleasure, warmth and sometimes desirable mental state that places them in a euphoric atmosphere that leaves them wanting more.

Forms of Administration

Different ways of administering heroin can bring upon different effects on the user.

Injecting: One of the most popular and hazardous forms of taking heroin. Unlike other methods, injecting allows for the drug to skip past the bodies metabolism where i quickly reaches the brain through the blood stream. Injection is particularly dangerous due to the spread of HIV, AIDS and other deadly diseases through the use of hypodermic needles.

Oral Consumption: Swallowing heroin is less common amongst users/abusers because their is less of a rush involved and the potency of the drug is diminished when ingested.

Smoking: When smoking heroin, the user vaporizes the drug rather than burning it to create smoke like you would with a cigarette. Heroin is commonly smoked from light bulbs, or off of tin foil. The effects of smoking heroin are similar to that of injecting it.

Insufflation: Inhaling through the nose or "snorting" heroin is common amongst users. This form of use is faster acting than swallowing it but has less of a rush than injection. When snorted, powdered drugs are soaked up in the mucus glands and absorbed by the sinuses where it travels directly to the brain.

Suppository: Although its a less common form of practice, heroin can be absorbed rectally or through the vaginal cavity. This task is usually preformed with an oral syringe and is said to be an efficient way of taking the drug.

The many names of heroin

China white
Speed ball or dynamite (combination of heroin and cocaine)
H-bomb (pill containing heroin)
Tar (referring to black tar)
White Dragon
White Lady
White Horse
A-bomb (combination of heroin and marijuana)

Effects of heroin use

The use of heroin can have short/long term effects on the user both physically and mentally as well as having effects on the people that are close to the user.

Short term effects: It starts with a "rush" placing the user in a euphoric state. After entering this state of mind users can experience: paranoia, hazy mental activity, shortened breathing patterns, vomiting, nausea and a numbness or lack of feeling all over the body.

Long term effects: Long term effects start with addiction. Users that frequently inject heroin are at risk of being infected by hepatitis, HIV, AIDS and other blood transferable diseases. Injectors can also suffer from collapsed veins. More long term effects include infections of the heart lining, arteries, and blood valves. Arthritis and neuropathy can also result from frequent heroin use.

Effects on the users surroundings: Addiction can create many difficult situations and destroy relationships. They can cause you to miss out on allot of important aspects of your life. The friends, family and anyone who associates with the addict can influenced or hurt by their actions as a drug user. Families can fall apart because of this reason.

Heroin use is not to be taken lightly

I can't stress enough how important the communication of this information is. Using and becoming addicted to heroin has got to be one of the worst and most difficult experiences one could endure. If you've never had to experience this yourself, i hope you have found better understanding with this article and make the choice to stay away. If your struggling with a heroin addiction, let it be understood that your not alone in your struggle, but you and you alone are in control of the total outcome. If you have the will power, their are people willing to support you in your quest for kicking your addiction.


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    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I never judge anyone who is battling one form of addiction ro another. I always say a little prayer and think "It could easily be me". What scares me is the depths someone will go to for their high. Violent crime is another side effect of these dangerous substances. I can not thank you enough for posting such an important and informative article, Voting up.