Rohnert Park, CA (PressExposure) June 08, 2009 -- One of the most common patients of a typical California drug rehab center or any other rehab is the heroin addict. Heroin, or diacetylmorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy. As with other opioids, heroin is used both as a pain-killer and a recreational drug and it has high potential for abuse. Frequent and regular administration is associated with tolerance, moderate physical dependence, and severe psychological dependence which often develops into addiction.
Heroin is used as a recreational drug for the profound relaxation and intense euphoria it produces, although the latter effect diminishes with increased tolerance. Its popularity with recreational drug users, compared to morphine, reportedly stems from its perceived different effects. According to a number of California drug rehab center, users report an intense "rush" that occurs while the diacetylmorphine is being metabolized into 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) and morphine in the brain. Any intravenous opioid will induce rapid, profound effects, but heroin produces more euphoria than other opioids upon injection.
When compared to other opioids such as hydromorphone, fentanyl, oxycodone, and pethidine/meperidine, former addicts showed a strong preference for heroin and morphine, suggesting that heroin and morphine are particularly susceptible to abuse and addiction. Morphine and heroin were also much more likely to produce euphoria and other positive subjective effects when compared to these other opioids.
The onset of heroin's effects depends upon the route of administration. Orally, since diacetylmorphine is completely metabolized in vivo to morphine before crossing the blood-brain barrier, the effects are the same as with oral morphine. Snorting results in an onset within 3 to 5 minutes; smoking results in an almost immediate effect that builds in intensity; intravenous injection induces a rush and euphoria usually taking effect within 30 seconds; intramuscular and subcutaneous injection take effect within 3 to 5 minutes.
Aside from euphoric sensations when taking heroin, other side effects would also materialize upon continual use of the medication. According to a number of California drug rehab center, side effects of using heroin include:
*Central nervous system o Drowsiness o Disorientation o Delirium
* Cardiovascular and Respiratory o Bradycardia o Hypotension o Hypoventilation o Shallow breathing o Respiratory depression
* Eyes, Ears, Mouth, Nose, and Skin o Dry mouth (Xerostomia) o Miosis, or pupil constriction ("pinpoint pupils") o Itching o Flushing/Rash
* Gastrointestinal o Nausea o Vomiting (protracted) o Constipation o Dyspepsia
* Urinary system o Urinary retention * Musculoskeletal
o Analgesia o Ataxia o Muscle spasticity
* Neurological o Analgesia o Physical dependence
* Psychological o Anxiolysis o Confusion o Euphoria o Psychological dependence o Somnolence