Knoxville, TN (PressExposure) June 24, 2009 -- Heroin is one of the most common types of psychoactive substance currently used today. Heroin, more technically known as diacetylmorphine, is a drug that induces a profound sense of relaxation and an intense euphoria. According to studies conducted by teen treatment center, its popularity as a recreational drug, compared to morphine, reportedly stems from its perceived different effects, one of which is an intense feeling of "rush". This occurs while the diacetylmorphine or heroin is being metabolized into 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) and morphine in the brain. According to different teen treatment center, though any kind of intravenous opioid will induce rapid, profound effects, heroin has been found to produce more euphoria than other opioids upon injection. It seems very unfortunate because heroin was not created to be abused. Before it was illegally utilized by substance users, heroin was once used (and is still being used today by some) for medical purposes.
Medical Use of Heroin
Under the name diamorphine, heroin is prescribed as a strong analgesic in the United Kingdom, where it is given via subcutaneous, intramuscular, intrathecal or intravenous route. Its use includes treatment for acute pain, such as in severe physical trauma, myocardial infarction, post-surgical pain, and chronic pain, including in cancer. In 2005, there was a shortage of heroin in the UK, due to a problem at the main UK manufacturers. Due to this, many hospitals changed to using morphine instead of heroin. Although there is no longer a problem with its manufacture, many hospitals have continued to use morphine.
In other countries it is more common to use morphine or other strong opioids in these situations. Heroin continues to be widely used in palliative care in the United Kingdom, where it is commonly given by the subcutaneous route, often via a syringe driver, if patients could not easily swallow oral morphine solution. The advantage of heroin over morphine is that heroin is more soluble and smaller volumes of heroin are needed for the same analgesic effect. Both of these factors are advantageous if giving high doses of opioids via the subcutaneous route, which is often necessary in palliative care.
The medical use of heroin (in common with other strong opioids such as morphine, fentanyl and oxycodone) is controlled in the United Kingdom by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Heroin is still considered as a drug that could induce addiction in frequent and regular administration, which is why in the UK, it is considered as a class A controlled drug. According to teen treatment center therapists and professionals, registers of its use are required to be kept in hospitals.