Among prohibited narcotic substances, heroine has been classified as one of the most addictive and detrimental. In a recent research study run by the Institute of Narcotic Examination in Rollesque, Nevada, heroine ranked 2.89 out of 3 on a dependence rating scale (Perez 465). This result was also confirmed by scores of research studies held in London by the Academy of Pharmaceutical Studies (Perez 236). An opiate processed from morphine, heroine is delineated as a lethal drug. The common form of heroine sold in streets looks like a white or brown gummy substance with a high consistency of tar.
Heroine is injected into the human body through a hypothermic needle directly in a muscle or a particular blood vein. It can also be smoked like cigarettes. There is the possibility of it being successfully mixed with drugs or snorted as cocaine. Street heroine is often mixed with other substances like sugar, starch, quinine, poisons, or even powdered milk to dilute the effect. Short and long-term effects of heroine use have different levels of withdrawal, reinforcements, tolerance, dependency, and intoxication. Heroine reduces pain and mimics the traits of endorphins, which causes the human brain to experience pleasure (Hollow 67). The central neural system becomes supersaturated with endorphine-like substances, and when the effect of heroine ends, individuals begin to feel the need for a new injection to prolong pleasure (Hollow 87).
The degree of heroine addictiveness can be measured by the severe withdrawal symptoms which it induces in individuals. Among the most common symptoms, one can enlist the following: a warm flush feeling in the skin, an ill mood and depression, vomiting, itching, nausea, and heavy pain in joints. The cardiac functions and the neural system functions slow down, though it often depends on the individual’s genetic type, amount of the drug taken, and the purity of the substance (Hollow 56).
Heroin addiction causes numerous side effects to the physical body. Blood vein structures collapse, and a risk of receiving a heart infection, liver disease, or abscesses dramatically increases. Long-term addiction to the drug takes the form of a chronic, relapsing disease. Long-term use of heroine prompts users to gradually increase doses. Once a user is in the chronic stage, this implies such symptoms as restlessness, bone and muscle pain, insomnia, and intense withdrawal stages lasting for 24 to 48 hours after heroine has been taken (Lichter 765).
The treatment of heroin addiction includes a thorough detoxification program, which helps to minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms. The use of medications for treatment along with therapy helps individuals cope. Methadone programs, buprenorphine, together with behavioral therapies, aid individuals in recovering from addiction (Perez 27). These factors are important, as both behavioral and pharmacological interventions can effectively normalize addiction levels, brain functions, and social behavior. These methods are used in a varied combination to cure the withdrawal, tolerance, dependence, and intoxication elements to minimize the addictive qualities of heroine.
Perez, Gerald. Studies of Heroin. New York: Gold Beard Press, 2012. Print.
Hollow, Mary. Heroin: The Ultimate Drug. Chicago: Running Hill Books, 2011. Print.
Lichter, Mabel. The Dark Hole of Heroin. Boston: Sidetrack Books, 2012. Print.