The Dangers Of Heroin And Use Surpass Other Drugs As Major Threat

Most people are aware of how dangerous heroin is. Still, many may not realize how unpredictable it can be. It may be so pure that the potency alone could kill someone or it could be mixed with other chemicals to cause a deadly reaction when injected. For whatever reason, its popularity has grown once again and it has been responsible for a number of overdose deaths. In fact, overdose deaths caused by heroin have exceeded those from oxycodone and even bath salts.

The recent surge in heroin use may be attributed to the many painkiller addicts frantically turning to it in attempts to replace their current drug of choice. A recent change in the formula of the painkiller known as OxyContin leaves the pills crush-proof, and therefore difficult for abusers to snort or inject. This has many painkiller addicts turning to heroin, as the pills are no longer an option. Heroin is more available, less expensive and much more potent. In fact, a study of more than 2,500 people with opioid dependence found a 17 percent drop in Oxycontin abuse with the 2010 arrival of the new formula. During the same time period, heroin abuse doubled. This poses yet another problem: when users switch over from painkillers to heroin, they don’t really know exactly what they’re getting. With painkillers the dose is engraved right in the pill, but heroin is usually cut with other chemicals, which raises the potential for an overdose.

Some Progress Being Made

According to media reports, there have been four heroin operations that were targeted across the state of New York. There have also been several people that were charged with aggravated trafficking of heroin in the New York area and a near by drug ring was broken up as well. Hopefully, this is a crack down that will be seen across America.

However the country of Afghanistan is the number one supplier of the drug in the country and has been shipping the drug in, in high amounts. The Taliban are funded by the sale of this drug worldwide so not only is the drug taking lives from use but supporting a terrorist organization that is a major enemy of the United States.

While some progress is being made with arrests of those selling the drugs, more work needs to be done in this area.

The Warning Signs Of Heroin Use

With working being done on the enforcement side, it is up to use to stop addiction and help those who have fallen into the trap of heroin use. Heroin addiction is a very dangerous problem that may affect any number of the 3.7 million people who have tried it in their lives. If you are concerned that a friend or loved one may be addicted to this drug, there are several key warning signs and symptoms to look for. Heroin is a powdery substance that is usually white or brown in color, depending on its purity. It is most often packaged in some kind of small plastic baggie or wrapping. Some items to be on the lookout for are straws, razor blades, pipes, small rolled up pieces of paper, spoons, lighters or candles and needles. These are all items that assist users with prepping and consuming heroin.

Along with using heroin come a variety of effects. Many of the following symptoms and personality traits are indicators of heroin addiction:

•    Lack of motivation
•    Small pupils
•    Loss of drive and ambition towards life and prior goals
•    Withdrawal from family and friends
•    A “lost” look in the eyes
•    Difficulty speaking
•    Poor self-image
•    Shortness of breath
•    Frequent nausea/vomiting
•    Itchiness/rashes
•    Depression
•    Poor memory
•    Alternating between sleepiness and alertness
•    Injection sites/infections

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