Heroin Use & Abuse

Heroin is a derivative of morphine (meaning – it’s morphine, with a few chemicals switched around), and it can be taken in liquid or powder form. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs, especially for teens dealing with depression or other painful life circumstances, because it acts like a giant pain reliever for emotions.

Many heroin users begin using the drug as a form of self-medication for dealing with depression or anxiety. The morphine molecule is so similar to the brain’s naturally-produced endorphins that the brain’s receptors accept them and react as if the brain has suddenly been flooded with its own feel-good chemical. Heroin lowers anxiety and pain, making the user feel safe, comfortable and at peace.

But when the heroin leaves the system, usually after four or five hours, the user is left with fewer natural endorphins, and emotions often dip even lower than before, leading the user to crave more of the drug.

Teens & Heroin Use

Recent reports have surfaced of heroin dealers tricking teens and young adults into using heroin by claiming to sell a “less serious” substance, such as vicodin. Dealers understand the addictive power of heroin and use it to hook people before they realize what they’re taking.

Signs of Heroin Use

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Sluggish or droopy appearance
  • Itching
  • Nausea & vomiting
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