Heroin Paper

Submitted By Jack-Markham
Words: 1789
Pages: 8

Jack Markham English 11/Set: 6
6/12/14 Research Paper

Heroin. Big H, smack, junk, black tar, dope, snow…it has many names, multiple forms, and a very strong grasp. Heroin is an opiate, a class of drugs that are either naturally derived from the flowers of the poppy plant, or synthetic substitutes. In the case of heroin, it’s produced from morphine, a naturally occurring substance that comes from the seedpod of poppy plants. This drug is and has been increasing in popularity for years now among the world’s youth. A 2008 study in Vermont stated that heroin use had increased by 770% since the year 2000. Also, the National Institute of Drug Abuse states that 11.4% of all residents in rehabilitation centers are between the ages of 12 and 19 years old (Volkow). This rapid increase is mostly due to the over availability of prescription and over the counter drugs, and specifically opiates and painkillers. The increase in domestic abuse and the idea of escapism also plays a large role in this growing issue. Based on multiple studies throughout the country, child abuse has almost doubled within the past year, and the majority of these children are under the age of 5 years old. Flashbacks and memories of the events often cause the victim to want to escape their home, their thoughts and memories, and reality all together. Drugs are an easy solution to those problems due to their mind-altering effects. This can lead the victim down the road of drug abuse and addiction, ranging from alcohol and cigarettes to harder drugs such as methamphetamines and heroin. If the issue of increasing heroin use among teens is not resolved, these numbers will only grow; degrading our youth and generations to come. All opiate abuse, including heroin and many prescriptions painkillers, carries a strong risk of addiction and physical dependence. Heroin is abused by injecting, snorting or smoking it, and all three can cause the same level of addiction, as well as serious health problems. As soon as heroin enters the brain, it transforms back into morphine and rushes through the body. This process is fastest through injecting the drug, rather than snorting or smoking it, which is why it is the favored and most common practice of using heroin (Above the Influence). Though injecting the drug gets the fastest and best high, it carries the greatest health risk. When injecting heroin, there are two different methods; direct injection and "skin-popping". Direct injection is self-explanatory enough; the user finds a vein and deposits the drug directly into that vein. This carries a much higher risk of overdose and heart/vein problems than skin-popping does. Skin-popping is by no means a healthier method of use, though. The term is originated from the act of sticking the needle into the users arm (often through their clothes) wherever. This became a more common practice when user's veins became too difficult to find, or too many of them collapsed. Skin-popping gives the user a much more painful injection, and a slightly lesser high, and also carries a risk of fat and muscle infection. Injecting heroin in a single place multiple times lessens the high, which is why users exploit many different veins in their arms, and sometimes cycle through different areas until they are no longer capable of giving the user the desired high; or level of euphoria. Each time a person uses heroin, they develop more and more of a tolerance. This unduly leads to an increase in the amount of heroin the person is injecting (if they are still able to), and furthermore, their desperation for the drug when they run out. Many drug users resort to awful things that at one time may have completely conflicted with their morals and ideas of what is right and wrong, or where to draw a line on a certain subject matter or activity. In a state of withdrawal and craving, a multitude of users and addicts will steal (both money to buy drugs, and/or the drugs