The Effects of Heroin on a Person’s Brain and Body: a Literature Review

1937 Words Apr 15th, 2013 8 Pages

The Effects of Heroin on a Person’s Brain and Body: A Literature Review

Heather Huber
Walden University
Psych 8226-04 Biopsychology
Dr. John Redmon
August 18, 2010
This literature review looks at the detrimental effects of heroin. Since many heroin users often become addicted, it is important to look at its ramifications. Beginning with a brief history of the substance, then discussing treatment programs for those who have problems with heroin abuse, this paper helps to better understand logical reasons that heroin is an illegal substance.

The Effects of Heroin on a Person’s Brain and Body: A Literature Review Heroin, also known as
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While traces of heroin were found throughout the brain, they discovered a larger amount in the hippocampus and the basal ganglia (Li, et al., 2005). These heroin cells left lesions in the brain, which could have lead to decreased blood flow to the organs and even death (Li, et al., 2005). It is clear that the brain is affected by the use of heroin, next we will look at the effects of heroin on the body.
Effects of Heroin on the Body Heroin affects vision. Firth (2005) studied its effects. Many heroin users reported double vision (diplopia); the author thought it was important to see whether it was a temporary or permanent condition. Eye exercises or specially made glasses corrected the majority of diplopic conditions. Shao, et al. (2006), tested and found that those with the DRD4 VNTR long repeat allele were more likely to crave heroin after seeing heroin related stimuli, than with the similar DRD4 VNTR short repeat allele. This type of research provides information to future researchers to study this particular allele and perhaps find a “cure” for heroin addiction. While this may not be the only part of the human body that shows addiction tendencies towards heroin, it is a stepping-stone towards a future of understanding heroin addiction and maybe generalizes that information towards addictions