Heroin abuse has numerous social and medical consequences. All of them have a devastating effect on the whole society. Heroin abuse is a debilitating habit that results in health-related diseases and problems in social and family life. Currently, heroin abuse and addiction are treated to be extremely serious medical diseases that require immediate addressing. Professional help is crucial to dealing with the complications that result from the drug use.
Heroin is an illegal drug that causes addiction. People who are heroin addicts continue to consume the drug even if they are experiencing negative consequences in life. They are unable to quit using the substance themselves. The need for heroin becomes a driving force in their life. Heroin abuse has numerous social and medical consequences including HIV/AIDS (as the drug is often injected), hepatitis, fetal effects, violence, increased rate of crimes, family problems, as well as professional and educational disruptions. All these outcomes have a devastating impact on the whole society and require billions of dollars to overcome them.
The number of people using heroin has been constantly increasing. This is partly caused by prescribed anaesthetic abuse. People who seek soothing their pain try heroin in search of cheaper pain relievers. However, heroin is the drug that causes extreme addiction and affects a person having long-term consequences, damaging the body, and destroying life.
In 2011, more than 1.5% of the US teenagers aged 12 or older already used heroin at least once in their life. And nearly 24% of them became dependent on the substance (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 2013). A rapid rise in heroin consumption in the USA has become evident since 2007. At that time, there were nearly 373,000 users yearly. However, till 2012, this number has doubled. In addition, there is an increase in heroin-related deaths. Nowadays, the geography of heroin use has expanded and spread the problem to suburban and rural environments. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, teenagers can easily access the drug. However, the average age of heroin users is 20 (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 2014).
The syndrome of heroin withdrawal occurs when a person stops or reduces the drug use. Physical symptoms of the drug withdrawal last from 48 to 72 hours. The peak is within 1-3 days. But some people experience these symptoms up to 60 days. The time depends on the duration of heroin use, quantity, type, frequency and other factors (Dowling, Weiss, & Condon, 2008).
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During the withdrawal state, the body undergoes the drug interference recuperation. There is an attempt to renew all heroin initiated dysfunctions in the body systems. Withdrawal symptoms include tremors, chills, weakness, increased sweating, insomnia, anger and anxiety, heart beat problems, paranoia, and many others. For any person who has made attempts to abandon heroin, there is a risk of relapse that presupposes returning to the heroin use after its abstinence. However, heroin addiction is successfully treated in rehabilitation centres and treatment teams. But the process appears to be long-term.
Immediately after the heroin use, people experience the feeling of euphoria surge, dry mouth, heaviness, warm skin flushing, and other symptoms. The initial euphoria is changed with the alternate state of wakefulness and drowsiness. Regular use of the drug brings changes in the brain’s functioning. Heroin abuse is closely related to numerous health conditions including hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, fatalities in case of overdose, spontaneous abortion, collapsed veins, gastrointestinal cramping, kidney and liver diseases, abscesses, and others (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 2013). Heroin is also blamed for pulmonary complications such as diverse pneumonia types, physical dependence, and delays in development. Many heroin users buy the drug on the streets. It means that the drug contains additives that extremely increase the risk of having clogged blood vessels that usually results in the damages of the lungs, brain, kidney, liver and other vital organs (Dowling, Weiss, & Condon, 2008). Therefore, street heroin is mixed with other drugs or white substances including starch, sugar, powdered milk, etc. Street heroin users are in a great danger because of strychnine or other poisonous substances that are sometimes added to the drug. As a rule, heroin addicts do not know the drug strength purchased on the street and this may cause overdose or even death.
People who use heroin show behavioral signs of their addiction. They include deceptive behavior, incoherent speech, decreased performance at work or school, reduced productivity, and apathy. In addition, heroin addicts spend more time sleeping, tend to avoid eye contact with their interlocutors, poor attention to physical appearance, loss of motivation, withdrawal from relatives and friends, and hostile behavior. Regular users of heroin repeatedly steal or borrow money as well as wear long sleeves and long pants even when it is hot.
Despite the countless negative impact of heroin on the human body, the limited and strictly controlled amount of the drug may be effectively used to deal with depression and other related conditions. Moreover, heroin is a good pain reliever.
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Thus, heroin is a dangerous drug that causes strong addiction and numerous negative influences. Heroin abuse is a debilitating habit that results in health-related diseases and problems in social and family life. Researches show that five-year use of heroin provides the drug user with a 95% chance of getting hepatitis C as the drugs are mostly injected. Sharing of non-sterile needles may also lead to other infectious diseases. Nowadays, heroin abuse and addiction are treated to be extremely serious medical disorders that require immediate addressing. Professional help is crucial to dealing with the complications that result from the drug use. Although heroin may be used to relieve pain and reduce depression, its negative impact far overweight and put the drug among the most dangerous substances that cause extreme addiction.