Heroin Drug Addiction Research Paper Example
This research paper is aimed at understanding the information with regards to heroin drug and its factors that led to addiction. Considered a highly addictive drug, heroin is a morphine which acts as a depressant that causes obstruction to the nervous system. Substance abuse issues arise in the United States due to excessive usage of this popular and fast-acting drug. This paper will also cover the causes of the heroin drug addiction as well as the effects of this to individual, whether in the physical aspect or in the psychological aspect. Heroin addiction can lead to many adverse effects to human health. These health issues include organ damages, infections, overdose which can be fatal, pulmonary complications, pneumonia and liver disease. Substance abusers of heroin tend to intake more dosage of what is intended which leads to physical addiction. In order to overcome the addiction, several treatments should be taken in order not only to overcome but to end the use of the heroin drug. This paper will also cover the explanation of each discussion related to heroin and the reasons on how addiction came up. Heroin addiction can make intense changes to the normal lifestyle of individuals. It can also lead to risks of being in penalty due to violation of laws regarding the drug usage. Given the hazards of excessive heroin intake, its effects on the individual will be thoroughly discussed in the paper as well as the resolving elements required for the recovery and also to eliminate this addiction leading back to the normal life of the individual. Despite the negative effects of heroin addiction, this drug has its positive effects which require regulation of the dosage.
Dope, brown sugar, blacktar, horse skag, junk, smack and others are the street names given to heroin. Heroin is considered to be the highly addictive drug. This substance or drug is a morphine processed as well as a depressant which obstructs the nervous system. It’s a tarlike substance and its pure form is usually in white powder. The ranges of color are from white to brown to black if it is in less pure form. Heroin is popular, fast-acting, and most abused drugs. It is considered to be the serious issue in United States (T. Buddy, 2014). Heroin is smuggled from Afghanistan, Iran, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan and Thailand towards the United States (CRC Health Group, n.d.).
This can be smoked, snorted or injected in the veins of a person. Individuals from all ages including the lifestyles have used heroin. Individuals will feel a rush or will experience euphoric surge when it is injected. The legs and arms will feel rubbery and heavy. The mouth will become dry. Individuals will begin to nod out and to nod in. The mental capacity will diminish and the emotions will become dull (T. Buddy, 2014). The effects of heroin could be experienced for several hours. Individuals can drive from hyper-alertness to drowsiness.
There are numerous of dangers or risks on health when heroin was used. The dangers include overdose, pulmonary complications, liver disease, cellulitis, pneumonia, heart valve and lining infections, abscesses, organ damages, vein collapses, infections, and fatal overdose. With the regular use of this drug, tolerance will develops. Thus, in order to maintain the similar level of intensity, individuals need to intake more of heroin. This results to physical addiction eventually (T. Buddy, 2014). If heroin is combined with other substances like certain poisons, quinine, powdered milk, starch or sugar, its effects are enhanced (CRC Health Group, n.d.).
Individuals are misguided of the use of the heroin on the assumption that there is a non-sharing of needles and injections are safe. Nevertheless, a purer form heroin exists making individuals to become high through smoking and snorting of the drug as against injecting it.
Addiction on Heroin Drugs
It is very dangerous for the individuals to be dependent in heroin, both psychologically and physically. Some individuals mistakenly use this drug to sickness. Addiction to heroin obstructs as well as basically stops the normal living of the individuals. It also has the tendency on the risks on lawful penalties because of the use, abuse and actions in relation to its usage.
Scientists conducted studies involving animals and it was found out that the animals choose heroin instead of beverages and food. Even if the animals are starving and exhausting the use of heroin still continues. It is seldom that individuals use this without developing the addictions. On the other hand, many individuals become hooked after the use of this for the first time. The scientists and researchers do not understand the process on how the components of the genes could lead to the development of addiction, which it called addictive personality. The effects of this addiction includes concerns in psychological aspect like the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (CRC Health Group, n.d.).
Causes of Abuse
People tend to use heroin drugs for a lot of different motives and reasons even only to experiment. Some of the reasons are peer influence, curiosity, athletic performance improvement, enjoyment, or even intended in problem comfort like depression, anxiety and stress. The use of the heroin does not inevitably led in abusing it. The effect of this varies through individuals and its movements from the casual towards the problematic one. It does not matter on the amount of heroin is consumed and the frequency of its usage, but it is more on the consequences it offers. If the individuals are affected causing difficulties in life such as at home, relationships, school or work, then there is the existence of problem in drug addiction or abuse (Robinson, et.al, 2015).
Aside from health conditions and diseases, the exposure to the addiction varies from one individual to the other. The family history, genes, social environment like traumatic experiences during the childhood stage, and mental disorders like anxiety and depression, play the vital role in the addiction. Also, injecting and smoking of this drug might increase the potential of being addictive to it (Robinson, et.al, 2015).
Effects of Heroin Drug
There are short-term and long-term effects of heroin to the health of every individual. The short-term effects include the damage on the brain. Once the heroin goes into the brain it creates a flow of pleasant feeling of rush. Then, this drug finds it way crossing blood-brain barrier and transforms into morphine and immediately attached to the opioid receptors generating the feeling of euphoria. The quick drive of the heroin to the brain defines the strength of the rush. There is a much faster reaction when the heroin is injected rather than smoked. Likewise, the smoking of this drug is quicker than that of snorting. Nevertheless, in any method of administration, it always enters the individual’s brain very fast besides this is the cause that heroin is addictive (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2014).
In addition to euphoric rush, individuals may experience mouth to be dry, heaviness on extremities, warm reddening of skin. Other individuals may experience severe itching, vomiting and nausea. Also, individuals may feel drowsiness for quite a number of hours since the drug affects the nervous system. In this period, there is the slow down on breathing and cardiac function. If there is an overdose, there is the risk of damage, life-threatening or even death (T. Buddy, 2014).
The heroin’s long-term effects are the changes in the structure of the body as well as the function of the brain. This drug creates the long-term imbalance effect in the hormonal and neuronal systems, thus, affecting the abilities in making decisions, the ability in regulating the behavior, along with the reactions in the given stressful circumstances (T. Buddy, 2014). This drug also generates intense amounts of dependence on the physical aspect and tolerance. Physical dependence occurs when the body gets used to its presence (Connors, et.al, 2011). The symptoms of withdrawal happen if its usage is reduced shortly. In tolerance, to a greater extent usage of the drug is needed in achieving similar effects. The withdrawal follows in few hours once the drug is in use (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2014).
Cold flashers, diarrhea, insomnia, leg movement, muscle and bone pain, restlessness, and vomiting are the withdrawal symptoms. The major symptoms of this exist between the twenty four hours up to forty eight hours after the intake and then recede subsequently almost a week (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2014). On the other hand, other individuals have presented continues signs of withdrawal for several months. When heroin is used repeatedly will result in addiction. Addition is considered to be uncontrollable seeking of drugs in any consequences. It is also the continuing degenerating disease which goes further than physical dependence. As soon as the individuals become heroin addict, the primary object in life is to seek and use this drug (T. Buddy, 2014).
Treatments of Abuse
Heroin drug addiction can be cured by both pharmacological and behavioral treatments. These two treatments help in restoring the function and behavior of the brain (CRC Health Group, n.d). Even if these treatments are useful if it is solely used, it is effective when the two are integrated and used. Studies have established that the pharmacological treatment rise the maintenance of the treatment programs as well as reductions of criminal activity, drug use, criminal activity and transmission of the infectious disease.
Outpatient and residential are the two manners or types of the treatment centers for heroin addiction. Outpatient center is where the treatment is done in the home and regularly meets the doctors and counselors for the consultations. In the residential center, the treatment uses variety of venues and programs like rehabilitation centers, therapeutic boarding schools and others. (CRC Health Group, n.d.) A lot of these services offer wide in range of the addictions as well as the psychological problems, however other centers are specialize on specific addiction and disorder.
There are three steps involve in the treatment process of heroin addiction. The first step is the chemical withdrawal which is also known to many as detoxification. The detoxification developed the bad reputation over the past years still new approaches generate this step in becoming less intense besides it is now easy to use this. The intake of medications will be useful in order to ease the craving in addition to the other symptoms in the body. Detoxification is not the treatment for this addiction but the helpful step if followed by the evidence-based treatment. In this area, there are three kinds such as the agonists, the partial agonists, and the antagonists. There is a specific medication used depending on the need of the individual and other factors. Medications are effective which includes methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone (CRC Health Group, n.d.).
The second step is the therapy session. This is done after the detoxification step. Therapy sessions together with counselors in order to for individual to learn how to transact with the so called triggers like the people and situations making the repeatedly use of heroin (CRC Health Group, n.d.). The residential centers provide activities for instance hiking, swimming, horseback riding, and others. These outdoor activities will help the individuals in learning the use of these physical exercises by way of the effective and safe manner in handling stress. Also, yoga, meditation and deep breathing may help as the coping techniques for the recovery process. The drama, art, journaling and music as the forms of the therapy are offered by residential centers.
The third step is the maintenance step. This is done after the period of the outpatient using the detoxification and therapy sessions (CRC Health Group, n.d.). Follow-up care will be helpful and needed in this maintenance step. In this step, the individual must attend series of meetings and further therapy sessions depending on the case of addiction. In addition, the behavioral therapy is an effective treatment along with medications.
Heroin drug may be used to health in positive ways. Its abuse could lead to danger not only in the physical aspect but also in the mental aspect of the individuals. The important thing is the knowledge of the causes, effects and the treatments that should undergone to the individuals in order to end the use of heroin and its addiction to it. The desire of overcoming the heroin addiction begins to the individuals. The support of the families, support groups, friends, people around and the government plays important role in this individuals’ situation.
Connors, G., Galizo, M., & Maisto, S. Drug Use and Abuse. United States of America: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 2011. Print.
CRC Health Group. (n.d.) “Heroin Addiction Treatment and Recovery Help.” Retrieved from http://www.crchealth.com/addiction/heroin-addiction-treatment/.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). “Heroin: What are the Immediate (Short-Term) Effects of Heroin Use?” Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/what-are-immediate-short-term-effects-heroin-use.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). “Heroin: What are the Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use?” Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/what-are-long-term-effects-heroin-use.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). “Heroin: What are the Treatments for Heroin Addiction?” Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/what-are-treatments-heroin-addiction.
Robinson, L., Saisan, J., & Smith, M. (2015). “Drug Abuse and Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Help for Drug Problems and Substance Abuse.” Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/drug-abuse-and-addiction.htm#understanding
T. Buddy. (2014). “Basic Facts About Heroin: Inhibits the Central Nervous System.” About Health Organization. Retrieved from http://alcoholism.about.com/od/heroin/a/heroin.htm?utm_term=causes%20of%20heroin% 20drug%20addicqtions&utm_content=p1-main-4-title&utm_medium=sem-sub&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=adid-ebed4a44-c77d-403d-8997-59b8288cd5f9-0-ab_gsb_ocode-4946&ad=semD&an=google_s&am=broad&q=causes%20of%20heroin%20drug%20addictions&dqi=&o=4946&l=sem&qsrc=1&askid=ebed4a44-c77d-403d-8997-59b8288cd5f9-0-ab_gsb.