Heroin (diacetylmorphine or morphine diacetate)

Heroin also known as smack, the gear and horse was originally synthesised by C. R. Alder Wright in 1874 by by adding two acetyl groups to the molecule morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy. Originally the drug was designed to help soldiers who had come back from the war to overcome their morphine addiction. The drug was patented by the Bayer chemical company and was prescribed often.

The drug was later withdrawn from the market because of its highly addictive nature. Many sufferers found that the withdrawal from heroin was in fact more severe than the withdrawals that they had previously suffered from morphine.

The most popular method of using the drug is through intravenous injection. Other forms of the use are smoking and in some cases through suppositories. Once the drug has been broken down by the liver it restores itself to its original form which is morphine.

Most people who become addicted to heroin have to commit crimes in order to maintain their habit. Many addicts will do at least a 10 year addiction cycle on the drug before they get help usually through a long-term rehabilitation program.

Once the withdrawal symptoms start, which will happen in as little as 24 hours from the last dose, the addict will suffer and experience extreme bouts of diarrhoea, vomiting and a general feeling of absolute shit! These withdrawal symptoms are the addict’s biggest fear, and this is why he or she must at all costs maintain a continual supply of the drug. Heroin possesses the very soul of its users and slowly but surely strips away any self-respect, morals or decency that the person previously had!

Once the physical symptoms have subsided which usually happens about seven days later, the addict must start to deal with the psychological and emotional withdrawals from the drug which in many cases can feel a lot worse than the physical ones. Many recovering addicts will continue to attend self-help groups such as narcotics anonymous, but many will struggle in the early years and will often relapsed.

Some treatment methods or Heroin and replacement programs, include methadone, naltrexone and bupranorphine.

Most of the heroin on the street market is manufactured in backyard laboratories and is cut with a substance known as mannitol by up to 10 times. Heroin manufacturers use mannitol because dissolves easily and water. Every now and then a stronger batch of heroin hits the street, during this time we will see many people lose their lives as a result of heroin overdose.

Heroin is highly addictive!

Heroin overdose results in shutting down of the automatic respiratory system, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain, resulting in death.

Heroin is often referred to as the king of drugs because of the euphoric feeling that its users experience. When you are high on heroin all your cares and fears worries and frustrations seem to disappear into a cloudy haze.

Recovering heroin users will lament not only the physical feelings of the drug but also the activities and a lifestyle that used to revolve around the obtaining and the using of the drug.


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