Heroin is a highly addictive, class “A” illegal drug. Heroin, also known as “diamorphine” among other names. It is comes in brown or white colored powder and is widely used by millions of addicts in Pakistan and around the world, who are unable to control the addiction. It is made from poppy plants. Milky opium is first removed from poppy flower and then it is further refined to make Morphine followed by different forms of heroin.
Heroin is an opioid and besides its medical use, it has been used for recreational purposes for its euphoric effects.
History of Heroin
Heroin was first manufactured in 1898 by the Bayer pharmaceutical company of Germany and marketed as a treatment for tuberculosis as well as a remedy for morphine addiction. It was later recognized as more addictive than Morphine with severe consequences. It was introduced in Pakistan in the form of opium from North West region and Afghanistan and initially used to export to other countries in either form of opium or after converting into Heroin. Recently, its recreational use has sky rocketed in Pakistan. Besides Pakistan, Heroin also comes from Mexico, other South American and Asian countries and they have still much influence all around the world.
Street Names of Heroin in Pakistan
Heroin is common name but it has also other street names or code names. Most common names are:
- Brown Sugar
- Al Capone
- Black Tar
- China White
- White Horse
Heroin and World War
In World War, Heroin was used as a pain relief by the soldiers on both sides. At that time, it was not considered as illegal. It was given to the soldiers who were suffering from chronic pains or trauma. It helped them during that time. But later it became a serious issue and was classified as a serious and addictive drug.
Medical Uses of Heroin
Heroin is just a name and most commonly used to scare people from it. In reality, it is Diamorphine, a main ingredient for pain relief and sedative. In many countries, it is used under the tag name Diamorphine and even prescribed for chronic pain to patients with severe disability. It is used for the treatment of the following:
• Acute pain
• Severe physical trauma
• Post-surgical pain
• Chronic pain
• Myocardial infarction
• End stage cancer
• Terminal illness
It is more common to use Morphine or other Opioid in above situation.
Heroin Abuse in Pakistan
Heroin abuse is common in worldwide. Unlike other drugs, Heroin cost hundreds of lives each year. People on Heroin admit of using other medication before getting on Heroin as a last resort. Around 8 million people in Pakistan alone are addicted to Heroin. It is cheap and available in Pakistan. To say, Pakistan is the only country with large number of people using Heroin would be a lie. People selling drugs can verify the real numbers and it was started long ago in western countries than in Pakistan. In other words, it is not only Pakistan’s problem but rest of the worlds too. Heroin abuse is common among people who suffer from a physical trauma. It effects body quicker in providing relief than other opiates.
It only take few doses and it becomes part of you
Heroin overdose has been lethal and many deaths have been reported because of its misuse and its addiction have caused many splits in families and relationships.
In order to keep getting the Rush sensation in body, an addict keeps taking regular dosage of Heroin. Its effects last about 3-5 Hours in system. After having heroin shot, people keeps on going on nod and sensation to many addicts is irreplaceable.
Side Effects of Heroin
Heroin has severe side effects besides addiction to it.
- Week bones
- collapsed veins
- Infection of blood vessels and heart valves
- Bad teeth
- Respiratory illnesses
- Loss of appetite
- Cold sweats
- weakening of the immune system
- Muscle weakness
- Pustules on the face
- Sexual dysfunction
Heroin effects each part of body; physical and psychological. Young people walk around with false teeth and it weakens the bones. Many addicts have lost everything financially because of the continuous use of Heroin. Like any other drug, this temptation comes with a high price that not only an addict pays but also his or her family.
Think twice before using any opiates. Little pleasure may end your life
Route of Administration
Route of Administration means the way it is consumed. People may get high and obtain a rush feeling by many ways but most common ways to consume Heroin are following:
Heroin is injected more often as it goes in blood stream straight away to produce its effects within seconds. The process of injecting heroin is also known as “slamming”, “banging”, “shooting up”, “digging” or “mainlining”.
It is injected in arm veins but with time, it is hard to find vein in addict’s arm. Heroin is also injected in legs, feet, neck and in some cases eyes and groin area.
It is prepared by mixing the powder form in water on a spoon and then given low amount of heat. Once it is dissolved and diluted, it is then injected.
Smoking heroin refers to vaporizing it to inhale the resulting fumes, not burning it to inhale the resulting smoke. It is commonly smoked in glass pipes made from Pyrex tubes and light bulbs. It can also be smoked off aluminium foil, which is heated underneath by a flame and the resulting smoke is inhaled through a tube of rolled up foil or paper. This method is also known as “chasing the dragon”. It is also common as needles may not be available in some places.
Heroin is also consumed orally but it not as common as smoking or injection. Oral consuming Heroin take its time to convert into morphine and works less effectively compared to other process.
Heroin is also snorted but it is also less common as many overdoses have been reported through this process and often cause nose to bleed. It is first converted or crushed into fine powder then snorted through a rolled up paper. It doesn’t give rush or feeling an addict wants through this process as to get rush, one needs a large dosage to snort which is risky.