Risks of Heroin

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”RISKS OF HEROIN” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Made from morphine extracted from the opium poppy, heroin is a drug which has been around for hundreds of years. Known also as ‘smack’, ‘skag’, ‘gear’ or ‘brown’ heroin can be injected, inhaled, smoked. It is a type of opiate with strong pain killing properties. Heroin is a notoriously addictive substance. Users report effects of using as feeling a strong sense of warmth and wellbeing. It makes users sleepy and relaxed, it slows the body down, these effects can last for hours.

Use of heroin has many serious and life threatening risks. Purity of the drug often varies, and those used to taking lower purity are at great risk of accidental overdose when supplied with a higher purity. Injection is a common form of using heroin, this brings with its own risks. Contracting infections such as HIV and hepatitis are possible through sharing needle. Regular injecting causes damage to your veins and arteries, and has been known to lead to gangrene and infections. Heroin often causes the user to vomit after taking the substance. This coupled with the sedative effects of put the user at risk of death from choking on vomit. Long term heroin use has also been seen to cause arthritis and tuberculosis.

Heroin addiction can be difficult to break, and it has many implications on a user’s long term health not only putting them at risk of death at time of using. Repeating use of heroin produces physical changes to the brain’s structure and physiology. These changes bring about imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems. Long term use has a negative effect on the areas of the brain called the prefrontal cortex and the medial temporal lobe. These areas are associated with long-term memory, decision-making, complex thought, planning and problem solving and controlling one’s own social behaviour. Changes to the brain caused by long-term use are not regarded as easily reversible.

Not only does heroin carry major risks to health it also puts the user in risk of engaging in dangerous behaviours that they wouldn’t usually partake in. Once addicted, heroin becomes the sole purpose of a user’s life. Many people who become addicted steal and commit crime to fund their habit. Most often users lose their jobs and find their relationships with family and friends seriously damaged.

Many people who become addicted to heroin report using it for the first time intending on only taking it once or twice. They often recall not realising they were dependent on heroin until it was too late. Due to the highly addictive nature of heroin, and it’s serious and sometimes fatal consequences it is highly advisable to avoid taking in the first instance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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