Heroine Addiction Rehab

Heroin Addiction In Texas

THE HISTORY OF OPIATES

The details of the history of drug addiction in America can be assumed to have been part of the original colonies since narcotic (opiate) medications were common in London and were exported to our original settlers. Whether or not the health of any of our ancestors were compromised by opiate addiction isn't totally revealed in our history, but given the ease with which one can become addicted to opiates through only casual use, and the ready availability of opiate concoctions (such as laudanum), one can assume that addiction arrived in America with the first comers.

We can document drug use back to the 1700's when over-the-counter, patent medications were introduced for sale to the public. According to James A. Inciardi in his book Handbook of Drug Control In the United States, opium was the most common ingredient in these medicines, marketed to soothe the pain from ailments such as diarrhea, colds, fever, tooth aches, cholera, rheumatism, pelvic disorders and even athlete's foot and baldness. These remedies were advertised as "painkillers," "cough mixtures," "women's friends," and other such enticing labels.

Dr. William Buchan's Domestic Medicine, first published in Philadelphia in 1784 as a practical handbook on simple medicines for home use, recommended the tincture of opium (paragoric) for the treatment of common ailments. Dr. Buchan gave the readers a recipe to make their own tincture of opium to keep around the house to address common medical problems and other discomforts. 

The shipping of medicines from London ended with the Revolutionary War. The American manufacturers of medicines were the first business entrepreneurs to seek national markets through widespread advertising. These medicines could be purchased in modest quantities from physicians, apothecaries, grocers, postmasters, and printers. One can find advertisements for these elixirs in every form of printed news and entertainment publications. 

It is easy to see how quickly these "medications' grew from the following accounts: A New York catalog listed some ninety brands of elixirs in 1804 and by 1857; a Boston periodical included almost 600 and in 1858; and one newspaper account totaled over 1,500 patent medicines. By 1905 the list grew to more than 28,000. One can assume that these "remedies" were used at a level bound to have been leading to some opiate addiction in America. One must remember that in these times there were no government regulations on any of these addictive opiate concoctions1.

In 1803, a German pharmacist isolated the chief alkaloid of opium, which was basically morphine, named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Around the same time, the hypodermic needle was invented, and by the time of the Civil War morphine was injected as a potent painkiller. Many German chemists played with the alkaloids of opium to create more and more potent opiate painkillers. Friedrich Bayer, of the famous Bayer Aspirin, invented diacetylmorphine in 1898, to treat pneumonia and tuberculosis and named it Heroin, from the German "heroisch" meaning heroic and powerful. Even though Bayer's Heroin was promoted as a sedative for coughs and as a chest and lung medicine, it was advocated by some as a treatment for morphine addiction, since heroin was introduced as being non-addicting, and there we have the origin of "non-addictive" drugs being originally recommended to treat addiction with the subsequent paradox of creating many more addicts as a result. We also find our first literature regarding the need for a treatment for drug addiction.

The availability of immediate pain relief was becoming part of the American culture. In 1900 it was estimated that the small state of Vermont sold 3.3 million doses of opium a month. These were the times of the "snake oil" salesman. They were the first hucksters to use psychological lures to entice customers to buy their merchandise. The drug advertisements on television today assure us that the hucksters are still content with this effective level of marketing.

An estimated 9.2 million people are addicted to heroin worldwide. And anywhere from 153,000 to 900,000 of those heroin addicts live in the United States. Why do thousands flock towards a drug that killed over 16,000 people last year alone? The answer is simple - they do not know the facts.

Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Street names for heroin include "smack," "H," "skag," and "junk." Other names may refer to types of heroin produced in a specific geographical area, such as "Mexican black tar." Heroin abuse and addiction has been an addiction problem for hundreds of years, but with the mixing of fentanyl (a substance that is reported to be 1,000 times the strength of morphine), heroin is now more dangerous than it has been before. Overdoses as related to the number of heroin users, is at an all time high. Heroin has also become more affordable to college students and others that aren't forced to steal to keep up with their heroin addiction. Purer heroin can be smoked or snorted while less pure heroin must be injected intravenously. Many high school and college age youth are feeling safe snorting heroin, but are claiming that they would never use needles. Facts have been distorted to help them think that they won't acquire an addiction to heroin without injecting the drug, but they soon find that to be far from the truth.

Very few, percentage-wise, die from overdoses of heroin, but taking whatever you can off the street, you have no information on how the drug is made or tampered with. And many people decide to enhance heroin's effects, they are taking a big risk by adding other drugs and multiplying the effects and the dangers of going over that edge where a person will pass out and vomit while they are unconscious, leading to their drowning and death. Not knowing the strength of heroin and trusting someone on the streets to give you the right information is certainly risky, at best.

About eight years ago a new drug, buprenorphine, was introduced to those who are trying to "kick" a heroin or opiate habit and find the withdrawals too painful to endure or they find the cravings after withdrawal too compelling to stay off of opiates. Buprenorphine has been used for pain in most European for many years, but the methadone industry successfully kept it from being sold in American. After much evidence showed that it was a much better substitute for heroin and other opiates and that the withdrawal from buprenorphine was relatively easy for some to step-down their dosage, it was allowed to be given by physicians in the U.S. However, due to pressure from the methadone industry, a physician must take a small educational course before he is given the certification to write buprenorphine prescriptions and, the real limiting factor being that any physician so certified can only have up to 30 patients at any given time.

Heroin addiction falls under the heading of opiate addiction, which is the second leading addiction in our society; following alcohol addiction. Heroin is noted for having the highest euphoria potential of all opiates and is, therefore, prone to cause psychological addiction even if the user were to not become physically addicted. Addiction is defined as a state of physiological or psychological dependence on a drug liable to have a damaging effect.

The withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin addiction are usually experienced shortly before the time of the next scheduled dose, meaning at the time that the last dose has been metabolized and is no longer binding to the pleasure receptor sites in the brain. Early symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, and sweating. Restlessness, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea, tremors, and the craving for heroin appear as the syndrome progresses and soon occupies the entire attention of the withdrawing person. Severe depression and vomiting are common. The heart rate and blood pressure are elevated. Chills alternating with flushing and excessive sweating are also characteristic symptoms. Pains in the bones and muscles of the back and extremities occur, as do muscle spasms. At any point during this process, a suitable narcotic can be administered that will dramatically reverse the withdrawal symptoms. Without some type of intervention, the syndrome will run its course, and most of the overt physical symptoms will disappear within 7 to 10 days. If you picture being very sick at your stomach and experience the symptoms of the most severe flu you could imagine, and knowing that if you have one dose of heroin, all of these symptoms will disappear and you will feel absolutely normal again, then you can understand how people that suffer from heroin addiction can do many things that would violate their values in order to secure that next fix.

The psychological dependence associated with narcotic addiction is complex and protracted. Long after the physical need for the drug has passed, the addict may continue to think and talk about the use of drugs and feel strange or overwhelmed coping with daily activities without being under the influence of drugs. This does not necessary have to be the case if someone that has been suffering from heroin addiction were to find a reliable treatment setting where the entire addiction is confronted and handled. These heroin drug rehabilitation programs employ the bio-physical model of treatment which takes into account the drugs that are stored in the fat tissues of the body and cause the user to crave the drug for months and years after use has been stopped. Without using this approach there is a high probability that relapse will occur after narcotic withdrawal when neither the physical environment nor the behavioral motivators that contributed to the abuse have been altered.

Seek programs that have documented success and utilize a bio-physical approach and you will have a life free of craving heroin and free of the depressing mental effects of having this drug in your body.

Life Can be GOOD/BEST DRUG FREE... You tell me...Don't you want your life to be as happy as it can be... Mac will help you get off of heroin and back to feeling good and productive!

The Merck Manual, which is a medical dictionary, states that withdrawals from heroin and other opiates have a predictable syndrome which includes symptoms and signs of Central Nervous System hyperactivity. It goes on to say that the length of withdrawals is related to the half-life of the drug. That means that if the drug stays active in your system for 4 hours, its withdrawals will begin sooner than, say methadone, that has a half-life of 24 hours.

With heroin, withdrawals begin in about 4 to 6 hours and last for about 72 hours and totally subside in a week. This Manual goes on to say that anxiety and a craving for the drug are followed by increased resting respiratory rate , usually with diaphoresis, (which means sweating), yawning, lacrimation, (which means tearing), rhinorrhea, (which means your nose runs), mydriasis, (which means an excessive dilation of your pupils) and stomach cramps.

Later, piloerection (gooseflesh), tremors, muscle twitching, tachycardia, (increased heart rate) hypertension, (increased blood pressure) fever and chills, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may develop. Opioid (the family of drugs with heroin, OxiContin, Vicodin and other painkillers) withdrawal does not cause fever, seizures, or altered mental status. Although it may be distressingly symptomatic, opioid withdrawal is not fatal."

Medicine is exacting in describing what happens in withdrawals from heroin, but its doesn't give you many ideas as to how to help feel better during heroin withdrawals, except for taking other drugs like methadone or buprenorphing as well as taking Valium and other families of drugs to relieve the symptoms.

There are better methods to help someone through heroin withdrawals and those will be covered by our counselors if you call and ask from their help.

Over time, the purity of Mexican heroin in Texas has increased and the price has decreased. Statewide price ranges for black tar heroin are $10-$20/capsule, $100-$300/gram, $1,000-$4,500/ounce and $25,000-$40,000/kilogram. Mexican brown heroin sells for $10/cap and $80-$150/gram.

Heroin abuse is a concern to law enforcement agencies throughout Texas. In response to the NDTS 2002, 13 percent of the 150 law enforcement respondents in Texas who rated the level of heroin abuse in their jurisdictions reported high levels of abuse, 31 percent reported medium levels, and 55 percent reported low levels of abuse.

A growing number of younger heroin users admitted to treatment report that they snort or smoke black tar heroin. Law enforcement officials report that individuals who snort black tar heroin typically freeze the drug, then crush it into a powder prior to administration. Smoking the drug involves heating it on a piece of aluminum foil over an open flame and inhaling rising wisps of smoke through a straw or similar device--a process called chasing the dragon.

The quantity of heroin seized by federal law enforcement officers in Texas has fluctuated but remains high in comparison with other states. According to FDSS data, federal law enforcement officers in Texas seized 138 kilograms of heroin in 1998, 118 kilograms in 1999, 189 kilograms in 2000, 142 kilograms in 2001, and 291 kilograms in 2002. Although the quantity of heroin seized by federal officers fluctuated, heroin availability remains high--Texas ranked third nationwide in the amount of heroin seized by federal officers in 2002. (NDIC)

New Note:

The Russians have come up with a drug that is more dangerous than heroin and is being used as a substitute for heroin. The drug is nicknamed "krokodil". It is a homemade opioid that is cheap to produces and is reported that it has been found in some rural areas of the USA. Krokodil is similar to heroin, being made from combining codeine tablets with various toxic chemicals. Some of these chemicals are as unusual as lighter fluid and industrial chemicals. Desomorphine is the chemical name for Krokodil and its effects are similar to heroin but it is more powerful and has a shorter duration. It gets its name from the scaly, gray green dead skin that forms at the site off the injection. The flesh destroyed by this drugs becomes gangrenous, and is sometimes responsible for amputations of the limbs.
It just seems to get worse and not better...