The Dangers of Heroin Addiction

April 11, 2008

Heroin is an opiate made from certain varieties of the poppy plant. Commonly sold on the streets as a powder, this highly addictive drug is typically “cut” with other substances. The drug addict faces many dangers when using heroin.

The substances used to “cut” pure heroin can range from sugar to quinine. There are reports of the drug being mixed with strychnine. Someone who suffers from a heroin addiction can become ill or even die from the poisons mixed with heroin. Many times the user does not know the actual strength of the drug they are injecting. This can lead to overdoses.

A person with a heroin addiction can smoke, snort, or inject the drug. The risk of contracting the HIV virus is increased for someone who shoots up. This is because many drug addicts share the same intravenous supplies.

There are many health risks involved with heroin addiction. Hepatisis B and C, bone infections, kidney failure, and strokes are often associated with heroin addicts. The heroin addiction can lead to depression. This depression leaves the user craving the state of euphoria created by the drug. The more depressed the addict the more of the drug they may use. This can ultimately lead to an overdose.

A fact many people do not know is that opiates work on the brain in a physical manner. Heroin addiction can lead to a change in the brain stem. These changes can alter the body’s automatic functions. Breathing is an automatic function. A heroin addict can shoot up and actually forget to breathe. Heroin also blocks pain. Someone suffering from heroin addiction can be in danger of dying and not know it because they feel no pain.

There are physical dangers involved with heroin addiction. The addiction to the drug is only half the battle. Anyone who suffers from heroin addiction needs to be monitored closely by a physician when going through drug rehabilitation.

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