Teenagers have always been curious to learn new things. The new ideas that they learn from their everyday lives have paved way for them to open their minds further to what is in store for them. One of these is heroin addiction. According to the survey conducted by the Monitoring The Future website, there was an estimated 1. 5 percentage of lifetime heroin users, who were still in their eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades. In addition to this, a huge percentage was also attributed to heroin use, who did not use needles to avoid contamination of any further disease.
A whopping 61.4 percent of eighth graders responded to having used needle-less heroin either once or twice in their lives. Twelfth graders, on the other hand, responded, resulting to a 60. 5 percentage of users. Tenth graders had the highest percentage of users, with an estimated 72. 4 percent. The said group of respondents admitted to having used heroin without needle use either once or twice in their lives (U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, August 2006). the results were astounding, for it involved teenagers who were risking their future for a few hours of euphoria. Heroin is known to be a highly addicting drug that is illegally sold worldwide.
It is also known as a rapid acting opiate that is most abused by people. Heroin is known to be a bi-product of morphine, which in turn, is extracted from the seeds of the opium poppy (U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, August 2006). The form of this drug may vary form a lot of different reasons. Pure heroin is characterized by a bitter tasting, white powder. Black tar, on the other hand, is another type of heroin that is made from Mexico. As the name implies, the product is black in color and is considered to be as viscous as that of a roofing tar. Heroin can be introduced to the body in different ways.
Administration is often done orally, nasally, or even intravenously. All of these administration forms have been considered highly addictive to its users, and has increased the risks of acquiring other diseases from sharing needles (Office of National Drug Control Policy, April 8, 2008). Inhalation of the said drug is more rampant nowadays, although intravenous administration is considered to be the most effective. The more recent users are attributed to such method, for it decreases the possibility of acquiring other diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS (Streetdrugs, 2006).
Depending on the purity of heroin used, several techniques may be used in the administration of the said drug. Intravenous administration is known as “mainlining”, for it goes directly to the user’s bloodstream. In addition to this, some users mix heroin with a regular cigarette or with marijuana. The smoke that heroin produces when heated is not put to waste. This product may be inhaled by users using a straw, that goes directly to the lungs and the other parts of the body. this technique is also know as “chasing the dragon” (Teen Puberty, 2007). Furthermore, Heroin users may have an increase in their pain tolerance.
The effect of the drug on their system is relatively difficult to achieve, since the body yearns for more of the drug. This action makes the body more dependent on the use of the said drug as time passes by (Medline Plus, April 15, 2008). According to the website of the Office of Applied Studies, a certain percentage of people brought in the hospital are caused by drug overdose. Heroin users rank third on their list, with an estimated 164, 572 patients each year (Office of Applied Studies, March 13, 2007). It was surprising that although the drug did not taste as pleasant as others, people still craved for it.
The unexplainable feeling that people had after using the said drug was something to be considered. Once they start, it was difficult for them to actually stop using. They yearn for more and more as time passes by. Heroin use has been attributed to several alterations in the body of its users. The basic effects each heroin dose has on the body of the user is the relief of pain, As the dose is increased, the tolerance for the use of the drug is also increased. When the dosage administered is relatively higher than what the body can take, the user is sent to a euphoric stage.
Hallucinations tend to become present, and most of the time, is dangerous to the Central Nervous System of the user (Teens and Heroin, 2007). Like any other drug, heroin has its immediate and long term effects. Intermediate effects, are also known as the short term effects. Usually, these are the effects of the drug on the user after administration of a dose that soon disappear several hours. These usually include a euphoric feeling, with the skin feeling relatively warm. In addition to this, the user may also exhibit xerostomia, or drying of the mouth.
Soon after, the user shifts to a drowsy state. Other parts of the body are also affected. The user soon experiences from slurry speech, becomes slower in pace, and experiences hallucinations. In addition to this, the pupils become constricted, the eyelids drop, and there is difficulty in seeing during the night. Nausea, vomiting, and constipation also become visible (Greater Dallas Council On Alcohol & Drug Abuse, 2006). The long term effects of heroin use include the addiction to the said drug. The user becomes compulsive and is desperate just to have a taste of the habitual drug.
When the user yearns for higher doses, the body becomes more and more inclined to the presence of heroin in the body. Higher doses are required as time passes by, for the body increases its tolerance to the drug. (National Institute of Drug Abuse, May 3, 2006). Compared to addiction of other drugs, heroin users spend more time acquiring the drug than in actually allowing the drug to stay in the body. The temporary euphoria that users experience makes them more determined to get hold of higher doses. With heroin overdose, the users are actually putting their bodies at risk.
The normal function of the brain is depleted once heroin enters the brain. Thinking time and the reaction time of the user is affected, and there is a great possibility that the user has memory gap. In addition to this, certain regions of the brain are also affected, causing the users to be physically dependent on the said drug. When used excessively, heroin may cause drug overdose to its users. Worse, it may also lead to death. Heroin addiction may also be attributed to deformities of babies, while the mother is pregnant, tuberculosis, and the possibility of HIV/AIDS contamination (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and SAMHSA’s National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information, n. d. ). Other long term effects include acquiring infectious diseases, bacterial infections, and abscesses. Due to the excessive intravenous administration of the drug, the veins tend to collapse.
The veins can only hold so much, and when strained, tend to collapse or even burst. Heroin also causes heart infections and rheumatologic symptoms that tend to cause difficulties to its patients (National Institute of Drug Abuse, May 3, 2006).
Heroin users physically experience the negative effects of the drug upon withdrawal. As the users become more addicted to the use of the said drug, there is a higher possibility that the cravings become more increased also. With everything that has been said, Heroin addiction can greatly affect the way an individual goes on with life. Teenagers, in particular, are very much susceptible to the addiction of such drug, unaware of the numerous possibilities of how to shorten their lives. A few hours of euphoria is not worth risking someone’s life. References U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
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