“Not My Child”
Heroin use in the county is definitely on the rise. Heroin first was synthesized from morphine in 1874, but wasn’t used till the 1900’s. The Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 was the first comprehensive plan to control of heroin. Heroin can be used in a variety of illicit ways. It can be smoked, sniffed, injected IM or injected into a vein which is called mainlining, all of which are addicting. It only takes 7-8 seconds after the injection to get a high and is extremely addictive. It is estimated that 3,091,000 U.S. residents aged 12 and older have used heroin at least once in their lifetime. (NDIC)
Heroin can come as a white or brown powder derived from the Asian opium poppy. As a downer or depressant it affects the brain’s pleasure systems and interferes with ability to receive pain. The effects are euphoria, warm flushing feeling. If laced with other drugs it may be fatal or possibly will lead to other experimentation with drugs. Other side effects are a wakeful drowsy state with cloudy mental functioning
There are many street names for heroin. Names you might hear are:
Smack, hell dust, big H nose drops, Blacktar, Brown sugar, Dope, Horse, Junk, Mud, Skag, Smack, China White, Diesel, Thunder, Train, or Eigthth. Talk to your kids about drugs and they maybe able to tell you other names. This list is not inclusive.
A chronic user possibly could develop:
§ Collapsed veins
§ Infection of the heart lining and valves
§ Abscesses or liver disease
§ Pulmonary complications – pneumonia
§ Lung, liver, kidney, brain problems if mix with some other drug
Withdrawal starts within a few hours after usage of heroin. Effects can be restlessness, muscle or bone pain, drug craving, nausea and vomiting or insomnia. You possibly could experience spastic movements that you can’t control. Withdrawal will peak around 48 to 72 hours after you last ingested the drug and will subside in a week’s time.
There are treatments to help the heroin addiction. Three medications that are used are: Buprenorphine, Methadone, and naltrexone.
Buprenorphine – Treatment for heroin addiction and other opiates. It has less of a risk of over dosing. It can be prescribed in a Dr’s office.
Methadone – ‘has been used for more than 30 years to treat heroin addiction. It is a synthetic opiate medication that binds to the same receptors as heroin; but when taken orally, as dispensed, it has a gradual onset of action and sustained effects, reducing the desire for other opioid drugs while preventing withdrawal symptoms. Properly prescribed methadone is not intoxicating or sedating, and its effects do not interfere with ordinary daily activities.” (NIDA) This treatment is only available through treatment centers.
Naltrexone – This medication is not used widely due to compliance issues of the patient. Highly motivated patients have had positive results when using this drug as prescribed for their addiction.
After one is addicted they will always fight the temptation. It is a continual fight within themselves but the drugs tend to help the desire without the high from heroin.