Made from poppy plants and originally said to cure a great many afflictions, heroin was originally created in 1874 by chemist Alder Wright. In 1898, a chemical company in Germany sold a new product called Heroin. It was originally sold (legally) as a medicine. At the time, little was known about heroin and the addictive nature of this substance. It was originally advertised as a non-addictive drug. Cut to present day and you find thousands upon thousands of people, both selling and suffering from heroin addiction worldwide. The allure of heroin, as with other controlled substances, has reached epidemic proportions.
Heroin Addiction Begins
Poppy plants have been in use for medicinal purposes from as far back as 3400 B.C., but were not widely distributed until the 9th century when they gained worldwide distribution. Even still, in its early days little was known about the plant. It was not until a chemist named Hoffman, working for a chemical company, started experimenting with the plant to find an alternative to morphine, that its addictive properties began surfacing. He was actually attempting to find a morphine-like drug without the addictive side effects.
In time, it was declared by most countries to be an illegal or “controlled” substance. Now, no longer widely available through legal channels, the underground heroin trade began surfacing, meeting the high demand for this drug of abuse. Countries less willing to control the growing, processing, and distribution of the poppy and its various derivatives, became havens for this illegal trade. There was no shortage of eager buyers interested in the resale or usage of the drug either.
Heroin Hits its Peak
Despite all attempts at slowing the influx of this and other drugs into the U.S. and other countries, much of what was and is produced still reaches their shores in staggering quantities. In the U.S., during the sixties and seventies, it hit its peak. The illegal drug was popular among young professionals and in the emerging rock and roll scene. As time went on and it became more prevalent and less costly, the poorer demographic discovered it as a cheap means of getting high. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, heroin addiction statistics once again saw resurgence.
Since the 1990s, the drug has taken a back seat to other popular opiates. While this may be the fact, it is still widely used. Much of the heroin entering the U.S. is brought through Mexico and Canada, since they are directly adjacent to the United States. Other avenues of import are China, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.
The Attempt to Stop Heroin
Throughout the years, the U.S. and other countries have made any of a number of extensive efforts to arrest the flow of heroin, but to no avail. Part of the problem is how well smugglers are paid to bring in the illegal contraband. For every one caught, ten get through. There are no limits to the measures well-paid individuals will go through to fulfill their goal of delivering it into the hands of dealers and distributors. As long as there is the high demand for it, there will be people willing to risk their lives and freedom to import it.
There have been many sweeping anti-drug initiatives and legislation over the years which set out to overcome the influx of heroin and other opiates, but none has had any lasting effect. The more legal restraints governments place on importation, selling, and usage, the greater the demand. Smugglers just adjust their tactics, as do dealers. Heroin addicts pay little attention to anything except where their next fix comes from. They fail to see the permanent physical and mental damage it does to their bodies. Most opiates do cause permanent brain damage. They alter the brain’s chemistry to such a degree that the person is left with a diminished capacity for clear rational thought. The drug binds itself to receptors known as opioid receptors in the brain. This is why you need to ensure that your loved one is in the most effective and trusted heroin detoxification facility available. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain and body, especially those involved in the perception of pain. Users say the drug gives them the feeling of euphoria. It can cause an infection of the heart valves, as well as liver or kidney disease. Many pulmonary complications can also occur which may include pneumonia. Street heroin often contains toxic additives. If you are having trouble identifying heroin abuse, contact our facility today to speak with a counselor.