My 29-year-old son died from a combination of heroin, booze,...
Originally Published: September 5, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: August 20, 2010
What do you know about heroin? Is it really as addictive as they say? My friend keeps buggin' me to try it, but I'm not sure I want to move from weed to smack. Any guidance would be groovy.
Addiction is a real danger when it comes to using heroin. Addiction has both a physiological (primarily involving the central nervous system) and a psychological component. If you use weaker heroin for a few weeks, you could develop a mild dependence; use something a little purer for a little while you may find you've got a pretty tough habit to kick.
Heroin belongs to the family of opioids, related to opium, morphine, codeine, methadone, and oxycodone, commonly known as "downers" or sedatives. Heroin is potent and fast-acting. Heroin's reported effects include feelings of warmth, euphoria, contentment, pain relief, dulled emotion, and a dream-like state. With these warm, fuzzy feelings, you may imagine how hard it may be to go back to reality, which may be less than dreamy.
Not so fast — heroin's undesirable effects may also include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, loss of orgasm in women and men, shallow breathing, and going unconscious. A warning label may also inform users to avoid operating heavy machinery or driving because of its numbing effects that may leave them vulnerable. Pleasure seeking and pain reduction may become a consuming way of life for many heroin users. Such an addiction is not cheap to overcome and may be extremely difficult to break.
Heroin users may take "smack" by smoking (often with weed, or marijuana), snorting, or injecting. Intravenous injection poses the greatest risk. Needles deliver substances directly into the bloodstream, and these risk infections, vein damage, blood clots, easier chance of overdose, and other deadly results. If users share needles, it further introduces other risks of HIV, hepatitis C, and many other blood-borne pathogens' transmission.
Movies often show the dark, ugly side of heroin — OD'ing is a huge risk. As heroin is an unregulated substance, its purity and contents are highly inconsistent, even within one batch. Heroin is also usually cut with other substances that are frequently stronger than heroin, so overdose is a significant danger, even for experienced users. Most overdoses happen with use of other depressants, like alcohol, or after a break of a couple days from heroin use. If you choose to use heroin, be very cautious and use a small amount.
Putting the chemical aspects aside, what are your motivations to use substances? Is it peer pressure, boredom, or curiosity? May you find other outlets that carry less risk? You may want to consider other highs, like natural highs. Is substance use to escape a stressful reality? If so, would substance use solve any real issues? There may be other ways to handle stress and anxiety with other ways to cope.
You are ultimately in charge of your body and your health, and it's important to make well, thought out decisions. For more information about heroin, you can call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information hotline at 1.800.729.6686 and check out DanceSafe. Please discuss with your friend information you learn and your motivations. Perhaps taking more things into consideration will lead to even more groovy times!
May 19, 200420568
My 29-year-old son died from a combination of heroin, booze, & pills. None of the 3 taken individually would have killed him, but with each drug, he got a little braver and the combination was lethal. He was handsome, lovable, smart (in most things), and loved by all of us very, very much. Why would anyone want to even take a chance that this might happen? If life is so boring or hard to handle... get professional help... not chemical assistance. He fought a long & very difficult battle, but the wonder drugs got him in the end. He'll be missed & loved for the rest of our lives.
May 19, 200420569
In response to Heroin Hell, about a year ago, I tried this substance for my first time. I liked it at first, but as time went on, I started to get sick...
In response to Heroin Hell, about a year ago, I tried this substance for my first time. I liked it at first, but as time went on, I started to get sick all of the time, and whenever I wasn't using the drug, I always felt like I had to have it. It took much research over the Net and talking to other people that use this substance to realize the risks are not worth it at all. It's been three weeks and I have no drive whatsoever for this drug. The worst thing about getting over the addiction was being extremely sick from not having it. This sickness was not like a common cold; it was more like the worst flu that I have ever had in my life. I can tell everyone that reads this from first hand experience that this drug may be fun, but the damages left behind will probably stay with me forever.
April 18, 200320479
In reference to heroin hell: I cannot possibly fathom why anyone would want to try heroin. It's a disgusting dirty drug and I have seen many people die from...
In reference to heroin hell: I cannot possibly fathom why anyone would want to try heroin. It's a disgusting dirty drug and I have seen many people die from it and contract HIV. How could you want to invite danger in? Some advice to you: watch the movie "REQUIEM FOR A DREAM." Then see how appealing, or in my case how appalling, the addictive drug is.