Heroin, an opiate derived from poppy plants, is one of the most addictive and dangerous narcotics on the street today. Heroin is most often injected subcutaneously or smoked, rapidly inducing a state of euphoria which is physically addicting with the first use. Functioning similarly to other opiate based narcotics, heroin blocks the brain’s ability to process pain, and induces an almost coma like effect of euphoria. The most dangerous part about heroin is that the user can never be sure about the purity of the product, leading to a guessing game with each use. If the guess is correct, the result is a brief 1 ½ – 2 hours of euphoria. If the guess is incorrect, the result could be an overdose leading to death.
Heroin dependence will change people. Friends and loved ones will become distant, lethargic, uncaring and even hostile. School and job performance will decline, and loved ones can begin putting themselves in situations they normally wouldn’t, such as stealing or joining a gang. They can become anxious about where their next fix will come from. Heroin addicts can become jittery, and itch themselves compulsively. A full blown heroin addict can become unrecognizable from the person they were prior to the addiction.