THE DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF HEROIN
Drugs equal death. If you do nothing to get out, you end up dying. To be a drug addict is to be imprisoned. In the beginning, you think drugs are your friend (they may seem to help you escape the things or feelings that bother you). But soon, you will find you get up in the morning thinking only about drugs.
“Your whole day is spent finding or taking drugs. You get high all afternoon. At night, you put yourself to sleep with heroin. And you live only for that. You are in a prison. You beat your head against a wall, nonstop, but you don’t get anywhere. In the end, your prison becomes your tomb.” —Sabrina
IMMEDIATE HARM: The initial effects of heroin include a surge of sensation—a “rush.” This is often accompanied by a warm feeling of the skin and a dry mouth. Sometimes, the initial reaction can include vomiting or severe itching.
After these initial effects fade, the user becomes drowsy for several hours. The basic body functions such as breathing and heartbeat slow down.
Within hours after the drug effects have decreased, the addict’s body begins to crave more. If he does not get another fix, he will begin to experience withdrawal. Withdrawal includes the extreme physical and mental symptoms which are experienced if the body is not supplied again with the next dose of heroin. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, aches and pains in the bones, diarrhea, vomiting and severe discomfort.
The intense high a user seeks lasts only a few minutes. With continued use, he needs increasing amounts of the drug just to feel “normal.”
- Slowed breathing
- Clouded mental functioning
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sedation; drowsiness
- Hypothermia (body temperature lower than normal)
- Coma or death (due to overdose)