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Heroin is drug that is processed from morphine. Morphine is derived from the opium poppy plant.

As asserted by the Center on Addiction, any substance that comes from the poppy plant has been categorized as an opiate (e.g., codeine, morphine, heroin, etc.). Heroin works by affecting the neurotransmitters and affecting the way one’s brain perceives pain and pleasure. The neurotransmitters that heroin affect also control an individual’s heart rate, breathing, and sleeping. Prior to 1920 heroin was considered a legal medication prescribed for both children and adults by doctors in America as pain management treatment and even as cold medicine. Due to its addictive qualities, in 1924, the U.S. government passed the Anti-Heroin Act and illegalized heroin. Heroin is currently classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is defined as a substance “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

While still illegal, meaning its manufacturing process is completely unregulated, heroin remains to be a present illicit substance that is abused by individuals across the country. Each batch of heroin created is entirely in the hands of the specific manufacturer. It is highly common for heroin to have additives (e.g., starch, powdered milk, sugar, etc.) that can cause permanent damage to the user (e.g., clogged blood vessels that travel to areas of one’s body resulting in kidney damage, liver damage, brain damage, etc.). Heroin can be sniffed, snorted, injected, and/ or smoked. Each method of ingestion comes with its own risks.

Snorting Heroin

Snorting heroin requires the drug to be in the powdered form and is then inhaled through the nasal cavity of the user. Over time, snorting heroin can cause severe damage to the mucus membranes in the nose. This can lead to infection and sinus problems. According to American Addiction Centers, habitual heroin abuse via snorting can result in developing holes in one’s septum. Snorting heroin takes approximately five minutes, much slower than other methods of ingestion, for the substance to absorb into the body and the “high” (burst of euphoric feelings) to commence. Heroin has a particularly short half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of only thirty minutes. It is important to note that snorting heroin can lead to severe and in some cases life-threatening consequences. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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