Thursday, April 27, 2017

What Is Heroin Anyway?

Today we are just days away until the end of the April Blogging Challenge. Today is the letter W and I'd like to talk about the problem in my town as well as all over the country, heroin. What is heroin anyway? 

I get asked that question a lot. Of course, when I typed it in search it brought up the trusty Wikipedia definition of it, Heroin. Then, of course, there are the bands and songs named after it.

When I Googled that question it came up with, heroin is a highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine often used illicitly as a narcotic producing euphoria.

To put it in words everyone can understand, heroin is a highly addictive and illegal drug. Many
addicted to heroin was once addicted to painkillers like OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Percocet, painkillers prescribed by physicians. When the heat came down and the doctors stopped prescribing those addicted to them moved on to heroin.

Then there are those who experimented with heroin. Many who try it for the first time say the did it to fit in, they tried it to escape from reality or because they were told it would help them relax. Some tried it out of boredom, or to make them feel grown up. Others say they did it to rebel or to experiment.

There are now millions of people addicted and unable to stop because of the strong urge who continue taking this drug every day and unable to stop. Knowing if they stop cold turkey they will face the horrors and the pain of withdrawal.

On the streets, it has other nicknames like Big H, Chiva, H, Junk, Skag, Horse, Smack, Thunder and Hell Dust. Heroin is heroin no matter what they are calling it.

Where did it come from?

Heroin was first manufactured by Bayer (a German Company) and marketed as a treatment for Tuberculosis in the late 1800's. It was also thought to be the remedy for morphine addiction. It was once sold over the counter just like the Bayer Aspirin is today.

Where does it come from today?

It used to be that 93% of the heroin here came from the country of Afghanistan. Most notably today it is getting into the United States through the waterways and bordering the bordering country of Mexico by the Cartels. Farmers are growing it in Mexico just like in Afghanistan.

Where does the heroin come from that gets into West Virginia?

Here in the Eastern Panhandle, it comes down from New York into New Jersey. From Jersey, it comes to Philly and then to Baltimore, Maryland. From Baltimore, it travels the heroin highway into the Eastern Panhandle.

In other cities in West Virginia, it is coming in here from Detroit, Michigan traveling through Ohio and into the Western half of the state.

What does heroin look like?

In it's purest form it is a white powder. Often it is found to have a grayish tint, brown or black in color depending on what is added to it and what it is cut with which can include, sugar, baking soda, caffeine, Tylenol or other more dangerous substances like strychnine,  fentanyl or carfentanil. Who knows what is in it that is just a chance you take.

Some cutting agents don't dissolve and therefore can clog the veins and arteries making it's way to vital organs.

Someone buying it on the street will never know what it is in it.

Heroin can be injected, smoked or snorted.

Throughout the month of April, I have blogged about the dangers of using and abusing heroin. The effects of heroin in short term- the immediate rush and euphoria that will never be found again. I have blogged about the long term effects of using and abusing heroin.

I have a posted what the dealers may tell you and what a dealer will not tell you.

If you think that heroin is the solution to all of your problems eventually the dark road heroin will take you down will become your problem.

Here is a fun quick fact about analgesic painkillers 

When you are prescribed a painkiller such as OxyContin, hydrocodone, Percocet or one of the many others in the pharma market the analgesic effects of these medications only last for two months. If you are still taking them after two months your body has built up a resistance and you are addicted.

WARNING: Heroin can and will kill you. If it doesn't kill you the first time using just one single time of using heroin can start a person on the road to an addiction. It will destroy the life you once knew.

Today is the one-year blogiversary for this blog! Time sure has flown by. This blog started as a result of a memorial and vigil I held on Baltimore St. here in Martinsburg. At that time the building situated on that lot was to be an addiction treatment center however when the county advanced with their plans it was met with road blocks and stumbling stones by the City of Martinsburg.

A group of us decided to come out one Sunday afternoon and hold a memorial and vigil on the lot to show support for an addiction treatment center to help our loved ones. The city still continues in the fight against it.

Today it is still an empty building sitting on the lot.

Credits for this post:
Wikipedia- Heroin
Pic of heroin @ New Health
poppy field Aljazeera Magazine
stats and some info Google
Letter pic Blogging A-Z

© 2017 Gossip Girl

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