Pharmaceutical Grade versus Street Grade
Heroin is an opiate drug that is synthesized from morphine which is a natural substance extracted from poppy seeds of the opium plant. Pharmaceutical grade heroin is usually a white or brown powder. Heroin originally was synthesized to be used as a cough suppressant to replace morphine (wow), since it had fewer side effects. Heroin’s ability to manage pain was then used to treat severe pain like heart attacks or accidents.
The purest form of heroin comes in form of a salt (hydrochloride) which can be mixed and dissolved with water. This is the most common street grade. It is pure, cheap and can be injected directly into your blood system. The second most common street grade is the free base version of heroin which is mostly used for smoking. On occasion you will also see a black sticky substance known as black tar.
Why Use Heroin?
It seems to be that heroin is the closest drug to the prescription pain killer (i.e. Vicodin) high that you get. When heroin is used, there is this “rush” or feeling of euphoria that you get within seconds especially if you inject it intravenously. You can smoke it, sniff it, swallow it or insert it anally but the reaction time takes longer than injection.
Heroin Side Effects
Initial use of heroin will result in a warm flushing sensation on your skin, mouth dryness, slower breathing and a more relaxed state in your mind and body (muscles). Sometimes it has been known as a whatever feeling. “Dude the cops are here: whatever….”. The long term effects are brutal which include constant pneumonia, infection of heart lining and lungs, collapsed veins, decreased liver function, abscesses and the worst one of all addiction.
Heroin users don’t realize how addictive it is. First it begins with the chase for that initial high a user felt. Your body creates a tolerance to heroin very quickly. At first it might be once a day use, then it becomes twice a day. Before you know it, you need it five times a day just to get through it. That is where dependence sets in between the drug and your dealer. Finally, heroin turns toxic to the point where you overdose from too much of it. Not to mention you can die from all the chemicals used in the street grade to process and get pure heroin.
I believe the worst side effect is having your family watch you destroy yourself. There is the feeling of helplessness by family as you sink into the abyss. Recovery is really hard since its addictive properties are so strong.
I always hear that marijuana (pot) is a gateway drug to harder drugs like cocaine or heroin. If that is the case, then prescription pain medication is the super freeway. I believe in making marijuana legal but taxed at 100%. I don’t smoke it, have no desire, and won’t do it if it was legal. Having this legal option openly and where it can be controlled is better than dealing with the results of cocaine and heroin abuse. I have never met a pothead (marijuana user) that wanted to use harder drugs. All they wanted was better snacks.
Have you or a loved one been affected by heroin use?