What Makes Heroin So Strong

addictHeroin is one of small town America’s worst epidemics. It effects the person in numerous ways, whether directly, indirectly, acute, or over time. Many people are addicted after their first use, and their lives quickly turn for the worse (no one using any psychoactive drug changes for the better in the long run.). But heroin is very addictive, so much so that those arrested have been known to do crazy things while under the influence, or even while coming down. Why is heroin so strong?

Woman Asks Police for Heroin

January 2014: a Minnesota woman is placed under arrest for shoplifting. She gives police a full account of her actions, intentions, and her “M.O.” She is cooperative, for the most part, and accompanies police to the station where she is booked and placed in jail. Just before she is locked behind the heavy door, she informs the police that she is coming down from a heroin high – what she called “getting dopesick” – and requests to do a line. Actually asks the police!

Once the user ingests heroin, whether smoked, injected, or whatever method they choose, they feel euphoria shortly afterward. Eventually, the body breaks down the drug, cycles it through, and the person begins to feel low, often causing the user to feel worse than when they first took the drug. The user equates this to being sick and wants to take in more heroin. They go to great lengths, in the above situation asking the police themselves, to get their “fix”. This is the nature of life under the grips of an addiction.

Heroin is not a natural substance. It is derived from chemicals rather than a plant. With prolonged use, the body becomes very inept. Veins collapse, systems begin to falter and fail. The body stops being able to effectively off sickness due to the user’s poor choices and generally disregard for their health in this lifestyle of drug use. Various organs are damaged, such as the liver and heart. Sometimes it forces these organs to work harder to filter out the various compounds of the drug.  Eventually, the body stops producing the appropriate amount of dopamine, a natural substance produced in the body directly related to feelings of euphoria and help the brain control movement. To put it simply, the body begins to shut down.

Where Do Heroin Users Stop

Many users of heroin do not stop there. They take other substances with it, causing heroin to be known as a “gateway drug”. And users are not prone to looking after themselves. Addicts often do not exercise or have a proper nutrition. Combined with the fact that users are likely to share needles, serious, even fatal health conditions may be a result.

As a person declines because of the heroin use, so too do their relationships. Many friends and family members might even approach the addict, seeing their problem and encourage them to get help. But denial is often a trait in drug addiction, and eventually that person might give up on the addict, leaving them to live the life they’ve chosen for themselves. As with the woman in Minnesota, users may become desperate enough to steal money and items from stores, or even priceless belongings from their families to sell for money to buy the drug, causing those around them to lose trust.

Hospitals receive many victims of heroin. Medical complications from heroin include AIDS, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, and other problems; some having no cure. The numbers of heroin deaths climb every year. Per capita, the most affected communities are the suburban and desolate. As their environment might offer little entertainment, teenagers and young adults might turn to drugs to give them an adventure and break them out of the norm. Awareness about the dangers of heroin will only help communities turn the epidemic around. Teach the children and give them a better outlet than what is available on the streets.


Chicago Tribune – http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79074976/

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