Heroin originates from the opium poppy. This flower species grows in countries like South America, Mexico, and Asia. Heroin is an addictive drug and for such properties, it is illegal in countries like the United States.
The form of the drug varies in heroin addiction. It is either as a brown or white powder; or as a sticky tar form. Heroin goes by several street names such as brown sugar, junk, smack, and horse.
The Rise in Heroin Usage
Studies indicate a marked rise among heroin users, especially between the period 2010 and 2017. Even though it is illegal in the US, many people opt for prescription painkillers that contain chemicals similar to heroin. Medication such as hydrocodone, oxycodone also generates from poppy plants. Hence, many misuse such drugs as they look for cheaper and stronger feelings of euphoria. Heroin contains both chemical substances.
The death rate due to such drug overdose has been about 400% in this period in the US. In 2018 deaths due to drug poisoning in Wales and England rose by 16%. This amounts to 56 people who die every day from drugs in these regions. Scotland shows a bleaker picture as well. Here death toll raised by 27% that was drug-related vis a vis the previous year. Heroin addiction is the number one offender in such cases.
Effects of the Drug
The drug gets to the brain very quickly. People usually snort or smoke heroin. In certain cases, users inject the substance in their veins. The first effect of heroin is a rush of happiness and euphoria. The world seems to slow down. If you are under the influence, you will think slowly as well as walk-in a slow manner. You might even feel as if you are experiencing a dream.
The drug is effective in blocking pain messages from your body to your brain. It also slows down breathing and heart rate. Many people opt for it as a way to deal with worries, anxieties, and other stressful situations. People with issues of mental health such as bipolar disorder, ADHD, depression are usually victims of this drug.
The drug intake is dangerous since most supplies are not regulated. The chemical constitution of the substance differs in the illegal distribution networks. As a result, you cannot be certain of the quality or potency of the drug. Again, many deaths occur as substance is in mixture with other drugs such as fentanyl. It is easy to take in an overdose in heroin addiction. As a result it can slow or stop heart rate and breathing.
Why the Increase in Usage?
Statistics show that availability of the substance amongst street dealers has increased in circulation. Middle aged men, especially in UK, form 70% of the victims who suffer drug related deaths. Heroin is a drug that easily creates tolerance, dependence and then addiction. As a result, it is important for family members and friends to help such individuals to abstain from opiate misuse. If you see a loved one showcasing addictive behaviour, you need to counsel them to seek professional help.