Opioid Abuse And The Negative Consequences
In the medical fraternity, opioids and their derivatives are psychoactive drugs used as pain killers. This is due to them having strong analgesic effects caused by binding the opioid receptors in the brain. There are numerous types of opioids available, however the opioid most commonly used for to control pain is morphine.
Heroin is the most dangerous and commonly abused opioid on the market. Its technical name is diacetylmorphine and it is created through acetylating of pure morphine. Despite being a highly addictive substance, it is used extensively in the medical community as a pain management drug (especially in the United Kingdom).
As is mentioned above, heroin is a highly addictive substance and has a growing amount of recreational users. This is due to the opioid inducing a sense of euphoria and complete relaxation within anyone who abuses it. However, a tolerance to heroin can be built very quickly making it necessary to use greater dosages in order to achieve the same effect. Addicts show a general preference for heroin over morphine because of the intensity of the effects.
It is important to remember that the possibility of death is very real when abusing heroin. Due to this opioid being illegal, it can be combined with various other ingredients before reaching the hands of the user. The most common ingredients include starch, sugar, quinine and in some cases the substance may be cut with poisons like strychnine. As the user does not have access to the ‘cooking’ of the heroin, he/she cannot be certain of the potency of pure heroin in their ‘fix’. This increases the risk of possible overdose or death.
Chronic heroin use or habitual use can also have other negative consequences. Habitual users are known to share needles and paraphernalia when administering the substance and this can lead to the transmission of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. Statistics indicate that 3/4 of all new Hepatitis C infections in the U.S.A. are caused by contaminated needles from drug abusers.
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