– What Is Heroin?
The opiate drug heroin comes from the seed pods of the poppy flower.Originally, it was a derivative of morphine, made by a chemist at the Bayer Company in 1874. Heroin uses were mostly medical, and it was intended to be a less addictive alternative for Morphin. The drug got the name due to its heroic qualities, although the irony was that, later research showed heroin was capable of getting absorbed into the brain more rapidly than morphine; it is also almost three times as potent where it can result in heroin addiction.
Heroin Administration Can Be:
Now, heroin is available as a brown powder, while the white powder form is very rare – although you can find it in a black tar form. White-powder heroin may contain milk powder, sugar, and starches, while the black tar form is usually of a lower grade.
Another form of heroin most commonly found in the U.S. resembles a black Tootsie Roll that can be heated and injected into the bloodstream. Based on the drug’s purity and other substances or contaminants mixed in it, and if it was created in an industrial process, its effects vary.
The heroin mechanism of action differs from other drugs in the way it affects the brain’s reward system. When the drug enters the body and bloodstream, it gets converted into morphine, making the user feel a euphoric sensation. Heroin is a CNS depressant that slows down the transmission of messages to and from the brain and body.
The initial buzz or high of this sedative drug wears off and then the abusers experience a state called “the nod,” lasting for several hours. During this time, it is hard to say whether they are drowsy, awake, or unconscious. Sometimes, this could lead to the user entering a comatose state, and they may eventually die.
The heroin overdose deaths from the late 90s to date have increased exponentially, while the recent estimates on the same show that the number has quadrupled in just one-year duration- from 2002 to 2013.
Abusers also tend to take heroin in combination with other opioids. Combining heroin and alcohol and prescription painkillers like Vicodin has grown due to their raised prices and restricted availability in the market.