an opiate substance derived from the poppy plant, and is one of America's
most dangerous and problematic drugs today. An estimated 250,000
Americans are currently addicted to heroin today, and its popularity
is gaining among young people. Heroin is derived from morphine which
is a natural substance that comes from Asian poppy plant seeds. There
is a misconception that snorting or smoking heroin is a safe method
of use. Though these methods might reduce the likelihood of over
dosing, the risks of becoming heroin dependent will not change. Typically
heroin comes as white or brown powder or a black tar like substance
which ranges from soft and gummy too hard as coal. Heroin's street
names include "dope," "black," "H," "smack," "stuff," "junk," and "Chiva."
Effects of Heroin Serious health conditions are associated with heroin addiction. These include fatal overdose, collapsed veins, spontaneous abortion, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis. Heroin's short-term effects last only for a few hours. After an injection of heroin, a rush surges through the user's body, along with a warm sensation throughout the entire body along with heavy extremities. Throughout this euphoric stage, the user may go "on the nod," which is a state of wakefulness and drowsiness. The brain becomes depressed which in turn lowers mental functioning. After a significant period of time, long-term effects of heroin addiction begin to appear. These may include infection of the heart lining and valves, collapse veins, liver disease, and abscesses. Poor health can lead to pneumonia. Another dangerous aspect of heroin abuse is its additives in street quality heroin. These additives might not dissolve in the body and can clog vital blood vessels that lead to lungs, brain, kidneys, or liver.