We hear a lot about the use of heroin, especially with the recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. But is heroin dangerous enough to kill you? If you talk to substance abuse experts, the answer will be a resounding yes, as too much heroin can cause a fatal overdose.
Heroin is a very dangerous drug manufactured from the resin of the poppy plant. Heroin is normally introduced into the body through injections, and this is a major risk factor for the transfer of diseases like HIV. It was first manufactured in 1898 by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer. It was originally meant to be used for managing tuberculosis and also for managing morphine addiction. In the 1850s, dependence on opium was a major source of concern in the United States. Medical authorities sought to solve this problem with a "non- addictive option" heroin. This proved to be a bad decision.
Several myths surround heroin use, these include:
1. Heroin only poses a danger when injected.
Most people are of the notion that the risks associated with heroin only present in people who inject themselves. Smokers and snorters are also exposed to the risk of addiction.
2. Heroin is only abused by seasoned addicts.
This is not true because many younger people have started abusing heroin. This drug is readily available to young people in most cities.
3. Methadone therapy is worse than heroin addiction.
Methadone management of heroin addiction has been marred by many controversies. Opponents argue that methadone treatment ensures that the addict remains sick and it does not address the basic cause for the addiction. Supporters argue that methadone treatment is done under a controlled environment and supervised by professionals.
Approximately 9.2 million people use heroin globally. Over 93 percent of the global opium supply is from Afghanistan, the net export value of opium is approximately $4 billion. Heroin is responsible for 18 percent of the admissions of patients to drug rehabs in the United States.
Heroin can kill in several ways. Once taken heroin induces a sensational and euphoric surge, but soon after, the user goes into a state where normal functions like breathing and the heartbeat slow down considerably. This can drive someone into cardiac arrest.
Overdosing on heroin is also a way through which it can cause death. Heroin is available in varying concentrations and this makes it hard for users to determine the safe and lethal dosage. Heroin can also drive the user to have suicidal thoughts and cause patients to feel isolated and hopeless enough to kill themselves.
The good news is that there are many ways of living a drug free lifestyle. The first step is to recognize if you have an addiction to heroin and then reach out for help. Whether you or a loved one is struggling, understand that the first step might be the most difficult, but it is necessary in order to get the help you need to live a life free from heroin addiction.
There is a bright future for you outside of addiction. Many heroin users have found great help in attending a drug rehab in order to get off of heroin and learn how to cope with life without drugs. Go ahead and look into drug detox and rehab centers in your area and get started with your drug recovery today.
You’ll be so glad you did.