Heroin: the Devastating Thrtuh

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Heroin: The Devastating Truth April Matthews COM/172 08-11-2014 UoP 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.…show more content…
When it enters the brain, heroin is converted back into morphine, which binds to molecules on cells known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain (and in the body), especially those involved in the perception of pain and in reward. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem, which controls automatic processes critical for life, such as blood pressure, arousal, and respiration. Heroin overdoses frequently involve a suppression of breathing, which can be fatal. After an intravenous injection of heroin, users report feeling a surge of euphoria (“rush”) accompanied by dry mouth, a warm flushing of the skin, heaviness of the extremities, and clouded mental functioning. Following this initial euphoria, the user goes “on the nod,” an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Users who do not inject the drug may not experience the initial rush, but other effects are the same.(2000, Smith, C.) Regular heroin use changes the functioning of the brain. One result is tolerance, in which more of the drug is needed to achieve the same intensity of effect. Another result is dependence, characterized by the need to continue use of the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Continued use is extremely

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