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Heroin Essay

Heroin is a highly addictive analgesic drug. Heroin, which is a popular choice of drug in America, is not a new drug that magically popped up in the late 1960’s. In the mid 1800’s opium was a popular drug. Opium was brought to the country by Chinese immigrants who came here to work on railroads. In the old west alcoholism as a big problem and opium was promoted as a cure for alcoholism. Before it was illegal opium was developed as a pain killer in 1810. “It was considered a wonder drug because it eliminated severe pain associated with medical operations or traumatic injuries”.

Heroin became popular in 1930’s and 1940s and then through the Beatnik subculture of the 1950s. During this period the major supply of heroin entering the U. S. Heinrichr Drese, a German physician, discovered heroin in 1895. He mixed acetyls with morphine, and thus, heroin was created. “Heroine is made in several different ways but they all come back to a single base- Morphine. Morphine comes from Opium, the resinous substance found inside the fruit of the opium poppy.

Once the opium is harvested, its three main alkaloids (alkaloids are basically a biochemical found in plants) are separated into:Morphine, Codeine, Thebaine. Morphine and Codeine are the only two alkaloids which can be converted into Heroin. Thebaine is the base for bupenephrine which is a very strong narcotic pharmacologically and is mostly used in the treatment of opiate/opiod addiction. ” Heroin has several different kinds of appearances. The purest heroin is a white powder but unlike cocaine it does not have a crystalline structure visible to the human eye; it looks more like powdered milk.

The most commonly heroin in the U. S. is brown heroin. The lowest grade of heroin is Tar. It’s called Tar heroin because it looks like black tar. Usually a powder containing heroin (diacetylmorphine) hydrochloride and some kind of filler. This can be snorted or injected, sometimes it is heated on foil to create vapors to inhale, rarely it is eaten. Black tar or tar heroin is a less refined form of heroin hydrochloride that is sticky like opium. You can smoke heroin or inject it subcutanously (under the skin) or intravenously (into a vein). r ingest it (sniff it) or go out on a limb simply eat it (lessened effects).

Heroin effects the central nervous system by depressing it. Heroin depresses nerve transmission in sensory pathways of the spinal cord and brain that signal pain. This explains why heroin is such an effective pain killer. Heroin also inhibits brain centers controlling coughing, and breathing. “First-time or infrequent users often experience nausea and vomiting after injecting heroin intravenously. ” a heroin addict experiences a physical addiction to the drug.

The addict needs to continue taking it to ward off withdrawal symptoms, including dysphoria (a combination of anxiety, depression and feeling restless), insomnia, muscle aches and diarrhea . Heroin affects our society because It causes first time users to become addicts, also it troubles/interfere with the nervous system. The Gender that uses heroin the most are males and the race that uses it the most are Hispanics. Heroin affects the central nervous system by depressing it. Heroin depresses nerve transmission in sensory pathways of the spinal cord and brain that signal pain.

This explains why heroin is such an effective pain killer. Heroin also inhibits brain centers controlling coughing, and breathing. Shortly after using, a feeling of euphoria will come over users, in which they have a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth and the feeling of having “heavy” arms and legs. After the initial rush, users will go into an alternately wakeful and drowsy state sometimes called “on the nod. ” Because heroin suppresses the central nervous system, the user experiences “cloudy” mental function.

Users will begin to breathe at a slower rate and their breathing can reach a point of respiratory failure. Physical ways heroin can affect you: It slows down your heart beat & breathing rate. The depth of your breathing becomes shallower. It slows down the movement in the Gastro-intestinal tract causing, Nausea & vomiting, Constipation, Dry sticky mouth, Heroin decreases muscle tone & strength resulting in, Slurred speech Sluggish movements, Delayed reactions & response, a heavy sensation in arms & legs, Lack of energy & coordination.

Heroin can affect you mentally by: Heroin causes confusion & clouds your thought processes, You make irrational decisions. It alters your perception of reality, Emotional growth becomes arrested, It suppresses emotions, Heroin causes depression and lack of motivation, It gives you a false sense of detachment from reality & the pain it may cause, You have a false sense of ‘normality’ Heroin can cause permanent brain damage involving: Learning & short term memory, Emotional growth & maturity, Decision making & problem solving, Speech.

The affects if heroin is used regularly: You develop a greater tolerance to all opiates , You become physically & mentally dependent on heroin (or addicted) , Chemical imbalances in the brain affect your moods & emotions, A depletion in the production of brain endorphin levels makes you depressed,Your body stops producing its own naturally occurring endorphins


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