An overdose is when a drug is inhaled, injected, or otherwise entered into the body and causes injury. Overdoses are often times unintentional as the user was “simply” trying to get high. Drug overdose has become a steadily increasing problem in the United States. In 2010, it accounted for over 38,000 deaths in America and over two and a half million emergency room visits.
Heroin is one of the most common abused drugs. While its basic opioid structure is used as a medication, the street drug has accounted for more and more deaths as the years go on. As with every psychoactive drug, heroin comes with its own set of effects and problems for the body.
Heroin is highly addictive. As stated before, it is a psychoactive drug and as such the chemicals in the drug react with the body. The miracle and curse about bodies is they are very adaptable. After the first use, it will take more of the drug to produce the same high. The user, wanting to reach the same high as before, puts more of the drug in their bodies. This is how they become addicted. Once addicted, the body begins to crave the drug and feels the effects of withdrawal when it does not receive the drug to maintain the high. Many times the user takes more of the drug to avoid the negative feelings of the drug.
Heroin is easy to find. The basic structure of heroin is the same as in prescription pain killers. Where before the problem in America was an overprescribing of drugs, now the street drug problem is rising (along with prescription drugs). When the government implemented stricter laws to crack down on the prescription medication problem, those who could not afford the spike in drug costs turned to a cheaper substitute – heroin. It was much easier to find heroin dealers, and the drug was very cheap. It provided the perfect alternative. Because of its availability, people are more prone to buy and use more.
The Deadliest Drug
Heroin is deadly. Recently, reports have been sparking from abroad and in the New England states about a strain of heroin that is deadly with as little as one use. This fentanyl-laced drug has accounted for a surprising number of deaths in the beginning of 2014. So much so that authorities gave medical personnel the warnings of absorbing the drug into the body.
Heroin is difficult to overcome. When someone experiences a heroin addiction, or any kind of drug addiction for that matter, their entire lifestyle becomes about getting their next dose. Eventually they break away from their responsibilities and become engrossed in the drugs. Many addicts actually come out of their problems and go through rehab. Their bodies begin the recovery process, some of this including relapse. At times, relapsing on heroin can be deadly. When getting the drugs from a dealer, the addict might not know how potent the drug dosage is. While going through recovery, a pure strain of heroin can overwhelm their systems and cause acute death. Many times overdose is unintentional.
Addictions can be caused by peer-pressure. One of the main reasons people give into to using is because they are in an environment where the drugs are available. They might have friends at a party using heroin and don’t want to feel left out. With no one supporting their abstinence, they indulge and become involved with heroin. A stage of recovery is removing oneself from the environments that make them want to use. This includes their circle of friends, their family situation, even the neighborhood they live in. Eliminating the availability and desire to use will keep a person on the straight path to sobriety. However, removing oneself from environments that they have grown accustomed to is very hard. Some leave and end up returning to the same places and wind up overdosing.