Very few drugs are as recognisable or have become part of the national consciousness as heroin. One of the most widely known Class A drugs in the country commonly referred to as gear, skag or smack, among other street names. Featuring in numerous television shows and movies, from “Requiem for a Dream` to `Trainspotting`, to being a storyline in the classic children’s drama `Grange Hill` in the 1980s. Back then the drug reached epidemic levels, and it still destroys lives today.
Heroin is a brand name for diamorphine, a depressant, semi-synthetic opiate. Named by a German pharmaceutical company in the 1890s and sourced from the opium poppy. Known by its chemical names Diamorphine or diacetylmorphine, it was fashioned from morphine and had numerous medical properties and, just like now, was also taken recreationally.
The drug is a powder coming in many different colours, depending on its purity and what it’s cut with. Heroin is generally dark brown, but pure heroin can be cream or white.
When most people think of taking heroin, they imagine injecting it intravenously. This is considered the most dangerous method due to the risks of blood-borne viruses and the greater possibility of an overdose. It is common to snort the drug or inhale the fumes after it is heated on a piece of tin foil. You can also smoke heroin in a joint or combine it with marijuana in a process called lacing.
However, you administer it, much has been said about the high or euphoria users feel when taking heroin. They may have a heightened sense of security, warmth and relaxation. Heroin can prevent people from feeling physical or emotional pain, but it is not without adverse side effects.
Heroin is highly addictive, and if you use it regularly, over a long period of time, you could build up a tolerance to it. You may have to keep taking more of the drug to get high, and it could lead to signs of withdrawal. These include chills, cold sweats, cramps and severe muscle and bone aches. Taking the drug can make you nauseous, vomit can make you irritable and can cause drowsiness. You could also suffer from anxiety, depression and insomnia, among other symptoms associated with addiction.
There are other potentially dangerous consequences. From slowing your heart rate and breathing and respiratory depression to loss of consciousness and coma. Sources suggest smoking heroin can even lead to brain damage. There is a risk of overdose, especially if mixed with other depressants like benzos or alcohol. The chance of overdosing is also increased as the purity of heroin varies, sometimes making it hard to judge how much to take.
The fact is taking heroin could endanger your life. Heroin deaths had greatly increased in parts of the UK over the past five years. Last year, there were over 2, 300 drug misuse deaths in England. Around 1,800 were attributed to opiates, and more than half were linked to heroin or morphine. Between 2012 and 2017, heroin-related deaths rose by 60%, doubling from 579 to 1164. It is said two years ago someone died from heroin every five hours.
Worried you or someone you know may have a dependency on heroin then get in touch with Rehab Guide. If you would like to know more about drug detox and our rehab treatment programs, designed to help you escape from heroin addiction, then give us a call. It could be the most important decision of your life.