History of Heroin Use
Heroin is widely considered one of the most dangerous and addictive substances in the world. Synthesized from the dried milk of the opium poppy, heroin has truly been the scourge of Western society ever since its inception in the late 1800’s. What is possibly most ironic about heroin is that it was specifically created by a German scientist as a treatment for morphine addiction. By the turn of the century, heroin was being used for multiple purposes including infertility, headaches, even the common cold. However, as heroin use become more common, even among children, society quickly became aware of the devastating effects of this powerful drug, but by then it was too late.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an opiate based drug that is synthetically derived from naturally occurring morphine found in the seed pod of the opium poppy. This naturally occurring morphine is made into heroin through a chemical compound known as acetic anhydride. Heroin was first produced by the German company Bayer, which is still in business today making aspirin and other various over the counter medicines.
Pure heroin comes as a white powder, and usually contains other substances such as talcum powder, glucose, even brick dust. However, because pure heroin is less commonly available, normally street heroin usually comes as a brownish to blackish color and can contain a variety of other substances, including caffeine to rat poison. Generally, the darker the heroin the more impure the heroin is, and the larger possibility of it being filled with other, possibly dangerous additives.
Heroin has a variety of street names and slang terms people use when referring to the drug. Some of the most common of these terms include:
- White Horse
- Black Tar
- China White
- White Nurse
- Black Eagle
- Mexican Mud
- White Boy
Signs of a Heroin Addiction
There is little doubt that heroin addiction is on the rise in many areas of the country, especially among more affluent and educated young suburban adults. However, even if someone may regularly use heroin, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a heroin addiction. An addiction to heroin is characterized by:
- The powerful need to use the drug regularly
- The inability to stop using the drug
- Painful withdrawal symptoms
- Doing things you normally wouldn’t do to obtain the drug
- Using the drug to deal with problems
- Focusing more time and energy on the drug and less time and energy on work, school, or relationships
Heroin Rehab and Treatment
If you or someone you love is struggling with a heroin addiction, it is never too late to seek treatment. Because heroin is such a dangerous and addictive drug, the only way to treat a heroin addiction is through rehab involving heroin detox, and behavioral and cognitive addiction therapy. Even the most severe heroin addictions can be successfully treated as long as there is a will to stop using and the means of seeking treatment. Remember, it is never too late to seek the treatment you need that could potentially save your life, but you have to take the first step.