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Heroin
Effects of Heroin

Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal
Drugs for Heroin Detox

What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine from morphine. Heroin was originally created in 1874, under the assumption that it was a cure to both morphine addiction as well as certain respiratory illness. It was later discovered that heroin contains the same addictive qualities as morphine. And while heroin has been banned in the United States, but illegal trafficking of the substance is still common because heroin is more potent and consequently much easier to smuggle.

What Are the Effects of Heroin?
Heroin induces sleep and relives pain by affecting the central nervous system. Users of heroin often experience a dreamlike state of warmth and well being. Side effects include:
nausea
constricted pupils
respiratory depression

Since heroin stimulates brain regions responsible for euphoria and physical dependence, addiction to the drug occurs with a high frequency. Signs of addiction can be described by persisten craving, increased tolerance (larger doses), and painful withdrawal.

What are the Syptoms of Heroin Withdrawal?

People suffering from heroin withdrawal often experience cramping, nausea, panic, chills, and insomnia. In addition to overdose, heroin addicts can are also at risk to AIDS, pneumonia, and hepatitis. Infants exposed to heroin in the womb must endure withdrawal at birth and pregnant mothers are also at great risk of giving miscarriage.
Withdrawal can occur only a few hours after the last use of heroin. The result is drug craving restlessness, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea, insomnia, vomiting, cold flashes, and kicking movements. Withdrawal symptoms usually peak 48 hours after the last dose and last approximately one week.

Are there Drugs that Can Assist in Heroin Detox?
Methadone treatment is a controversial method of heroin detox that substitutes methadone for heroin and then gradually decreases the dose until the user is free of the drug.
Supporters point out that methadone maintenance, being oral, breaks the dangerous ritual of intravenous injection, that it is legal and eliminates the addict's need to engage in crime to pay for drugs, and that it gives addicts a chance to reevaluate their lives. Critics counter that methadone patients are still addicts and that methadone therapy does not help addicts with their personality problems. In many cases multiple drug use and a strong psychological dependence undermine the gains made. Some addicts manage to resell the methadone they receive in order to buy heroin; this and other illegal diversion have resulted in methadone joining the group of addictive drugs sold on the street.

 

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