Heroin Rehab and Heroin Treatment Information

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What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug. It is both the most abused and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants.

According to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which may actually underestimate illicit opiate (heroin) use, an estimated 3.7 million people had used heroin at some time in their lives, and over 119,000 of them reported using it within the month preceding the survey. An estimated 314,000 Americans used heroin in the past year. Lifetime heroin use measured 1.6 percent among 8th-graders and 1.5 percent among 10th- and 12th-graders.

Injection continues to be the predominant method of heroin use among addicted users seeking treatment; in many CEWG areas, heroin injection is reportedly on the rise, while heroin inhalation is declining.

At first, heroin flowed from countries where it was still legal into countries where it was no longer legal. By the mid-1920s, heroin production had been made illegal in many parts of the world. An illegal trade developed at that time between heroin labs in China (mostly in Shanghai and Tianjin) and other nations. Heroin trafficking was virtually eliminated in the U.S. during World War II due to temporary trade disruptions caused by the war. After the Second World War, the Mafia took advantage of the weakness of the postwar Italian government and set up heroin labs in Sicily. Between the end of World War II and the 1970s, much of the opium consumed in the west was grown in Iran but in the late 1960s, under pressure from the U.S. and the United Nations, Iran engaged in anti-opium policies. Soviet-Afghan war led to increased production in the Pakistani-Afghani border regions. It increased international production of heroin at lower prices in the 1980s. The trade shifted away from Sicily in the late 1970s as various criminal organizations violently fought with each other over the trade.

In combination with other central nervous system depressants, heroin may still kill even experienced users, particularly if their tolerance to the drug has reduced or the strength of their usual dose has increased.

Contrary to popular belief, heroin is not used recreationally primarily to experience pleasure. Rather it more often becomes a habit in an attempt by the user to escape the long-term demoralizing psychological effects of depression, overwhelming and unresolved life problems, and just as often extreme poverty and other poor living conditions. Often times, addicts with the least economic mobility will spend most of their money in order to obtain more heroin. Some describe its initial effects as being many times better than the most intense orgasm, but as the physical euphoria fades it is the feeling of contentedness and freedom from worry that is what actually makes the drug so attractive

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