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  1. Heroin is a highly addictive drug that is processed from morphine, which is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant.
  2. Heroin can be injected, snorted/sniffed, or smoked. It is highly addictive and enters the brain very quickly. Contrary to popular opinion, all three methods can lead to addiction and other severe health problems.
  3. There is no cookie cutter heroin user. In fact, many of heroin’s newest addicts are in their teens or early 20s; many also come from middle- or upper-middle-class suburban families.
  4. Tolerance to heroin develops with regular use, so after a short time more heroin is needed to produce the same level of intensity. This results in addiction.
  5. Health risks to using heroin include:Fatal overdose, High risk of infections such as HIV/AIDS, Collapsed veins, Infection of the heart lining and valves, Liver disease

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  1. When an addict stops using, he experiences physical withdrawal which can begin within just a few hours since the last use. Symptoms include: Restlessness, Insomnia, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cold flashes with goose bumps, Muscle and bone pain.
  2. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and can last up to a week. For some withdrawal can be as long as a few months after stopping the drug.Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users can be fatal.
  3. Heroin was first manufactured in 1898 by the Bayer pharmaceutical company of Germany and marketed as a treatment for tuberculosis as well as a remedy for morphine addiction.
  4. Heroin craving can persist years after drug use stops, and can be triggered by exposure to stress or people, places, and things associated with drug use.
  5. In heroin’s purest form it is a fine, white powder. More often than not, it is found to be rose gray, brown or black. Toxic ingredients are usually mixed with heroin so the true purity of the drug and its strength is usually hard to really know.
  6. Approximately 13.5 million people in the world take opioids (opium-like substances), including 9.2 million who use heroin.

Sources

  • 1

    Ritter, Lois A., and Shirley Manly Lampkin. Community mental health. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2012.

  • 2

    Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. "Heroin Abuse in the U.S.." Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed February 18, 2014, http://www.samhsa.gov/data/treatan/treana11.htm#link_group_1.

  • 3

    Murray, Rheana. "Heroin use among suburban teens skyrockets; Experts say prescription pills are the new gateway drug." NY Daily News. Accessed February 18, 2014, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/heroin-soars-suburban-teens-talk-heroin-problem-talking-prescription-drug-problem-article-1.1099140.

  • 4

    Anderson, L. "Heroin." Drugs.com. Accessed February 17, 2014, http://www.drugs.com/heroin.html .

  • 5

    "Common Abused Drugs." Orange County Sheriff's Office. Accessed February 18, 2013, http://www.ocso.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=lTGBY3lkapw%3D&tabid=147&mid=640.

  • 6

    Hartney, PhD, Elizabeth. "What to Expect from Heroin Withdrawal." About.com Addictions. Accessed February 17, 2014, http://addictions.about.com/od/dailylifewithaddiction/a/What-To-Expect-From-Heroin-Withdrawal.htm.

  • 7

    Hartney, PhD, Elizabeth. "What to Expect from Heroin Withdrawal." About.com Addictions. Accessed February 17, 2014, http://addictions.about.com/od/dailylifewithaddiction/a/What-To-Expect-From-Heroin-Withdrawal.htm.

  • 8

    Official Foundation for a Drug-Free World. "Heroin:What is it?." Official Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Accessed February 17, 2014, http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/heroin.html.

  • 9

    Delaware County Heroin Task Force. "The Truth about Heroin." Delaware County Heroin Task Force. Accessed February 18, 2014, http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/heroin/facts.html.

  • 10

    National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Heroin: Abuse and Addiction." What are the long-term effects of heroin use?. February 18, 2014, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin-abuse-addiction/what-are-long-term-effects-heroin-use.

  • 11

    "International Statistics of Heroin Addiction & Abuse, High School Students and Youth." Foundation for a Drug Free World. Accessed February 18, 2014, http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/heroin/international-statistics.html.

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