Heroin is an opiate.
Heroin is considered one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs in the world. This drug is finding its way into South Africa at an alarming rate and is it clear that Heroin is the most popular choice for drug abuse amongst teenagers.
Heroin is also commonly known as "H" Smack, Thai and Junk. Heroin can also be mixed with amphetamines and or cocaine and this is known as a speed ball.
Heroin can be used in four different ways, by injecting it, by smoking it, by snorting it through the nose and by inhaling it.
Heroin is a depressant. As soon as a person uses Heroin he/she will find that he/she reaches a very high level of relaxation and it seems as if the person has gone into a very deep trance or coma.
The long-term use of Heroin can lead to very serious decay of the body like serious heart valve regurgitation, brain damage as well as damage to the organs of the body, such as the kidneys, liver and the lungs.
Because it is such a very strong depressant and muscle relaxant it has happened that during overdosing the heart valves were affected and the heart just stops beating.
Heroin is also a very unpredictable drug - therefore overdose and death is very common in users.
Withdrawal symptoms commence 8 to 12 hours after the last dose and peak 36 to 73 hours after last dose. Withdrawal symptoms include excessive sweating, agitated and restless sleep, shivering, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, agitation, intestinal cramps, rapid pulse, uncontrolled kicking and depression.
Some of the long terms effects of using Heroin include: severe dependence, poor immunity system, lung problems, mental disorientation, coma from overdose, HIV and AIDS from sharing needles, hepatitis and convulsions.
Signs and Symptoms of Use
Nausea and vomiting
Marks where the needle has been inserted
Rapid weight loss
Severe withdrawal symptoms
Impared mental functioning
Constricted (pin drop) pupils