FACTS ABOUT HEROIN
Heroin is processed from morphine, a natural substance that is taken from the seed pod of the Asian poppy plant. It usually appears as a white or brown powder. Pure heroin is usually diluted with other powder substances, such as sugar, when it is sold on the street.
Heroin abuse has been associated with the use of needles and, therefore, such serious health conditions as fatal overdoses, collapsed veins and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. An overdose can cause death. Recently there has been a shift from injecting heroin to smoking or snorting (sniffing it through the nose). All forms of using the drug can result in physical dependence.
Methods of Use:
- sniffing the powder through the nose
- smoking the powder
- injecting diluted powder into a vein or under the skin
- the person may feel a surge of intense pleasure (“euphoria”)
- the person may feel a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth and heaviness in their limbs
- the person then may experience a drowsy state and clouded mental functioning
- after repeated and long term use, the person may develop collapsed veins (from injections) or a nasal soreness (from snorting)
- the person may develop heart valve infections or liver disease
- smack, “H”, skag, junk
FACTS ABOUT COCAINE (INCLUDING CRACK)
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that comes from the coca bush that grows in South America. The leaves are soaked, mashed and filtered to create a paste that is treated with chemicals. It ends up as a powder that has other powders added to it.
“Crack” or “rock” is cocaine, which is chemically changed so it can be smoked and inhaled into the lungs. Crack cocaine is particularly addictive and very dangerous. People are attracted to it because smoking provides a much quicker and more intense “high” than sniffing or “snorting” cocaine into the nostrils. The sudden rush puts the brain, heart, blood vessels and other organs at serious risk of damage.
The immediate, intense euphoria of smoking crack cocaine wears off more quickly than when the drug is sniffed. Then the user becomes anxious, irritable and deeply depressed and craves another dose to relieve the depression.
Methods of Use:
- snorting the powder into the nose
- smoking in the form of crack or rock
- the person’s appetite will decrease
- the person will have more energy and will not get tired easily
- the person will be more alert
- the person’s breathing will speed up
- the person’s heart rate and blood pressure will increase and he or she will be at greater risk of burst blood vessels or heart failure
- the person’s pupils will be enlarged
With Larger Doses:
- sometimes the person will act bizarre and may be violent
- there is risk of convulsions, coma
- the person may experience paranoid psychosis (disappears if drug use is discontinued)
- sometimes the person feels like something is crawling under the skin
- if the cocaine is sniffed, the nose tissues will be damaged
- the person may be undernourished
- the person may get infections more easily
- “C”, coke, flake, snow, stardust, blow, nose candy