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Heroin: the Devastating Thrtuh

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Heroin: The Devastating Truth

April Matthews




Heroin: The Devastating Truth

The United States is in the grips of one of the worst heroin epidemics in its history, due in part to a flood of cheap doses of the drug. In some regions, heroin is deemed "highly available" by local police in more than three times the number of communities as it was just seven years ago. This drug has taken many lives in the past and it is now becoming very popular again. The resurgence of the deadly drug has sparked a flurry of action from governors' mansions and statehouses across New England. The addiction of this drug is devastating and the deaths are rising.

Heroin, also known as diacetylmorphine, is an illegal drug in the United States and many other countries. Heroin has devastating results on the brain and body. Estimates on the number of U.S. heroin addicts range from 300,000 to 500,000, up about 75 percent from five years ago. And while that is just a minor portion of the nearly 24 million Americans that abuse drugs overall, heroin use is growing faster than all others. Heroin is a powerfully addictive drug. Also known as smack, h, ska, dope or junk, this white or brown powdery or black, sticky substance is processed from morphine. Like all opiates, it is a depressant that inhibits the central nervous system. Heroin is administered in three ways: smoking, snorting, or shooting (injecting). Since it enters the brain quite quickly, heroin is very addictive; each time a user administers heroin, more is needed to get the same high. Typically, heroin and opiate users report feelings of absolute relaxation and intense euphoria. Short-term effects occur after a single dose and fade after a few hours. First, feelings of euphoria are accompanied by warm, flushed skin, a dry mouth, and...

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