Heroin: Invented 1874

Sold by Bayer in 1898: Aspirin was sold by prescription only at this time; heroin was sold over the counter as a cough sedative.

Where does it come from?
Columbia, Mexico, Thailand, Laos, Afghanistan and Pakistan

Columbia became a major contender of the heroin trade in the 1990’s accounting for around 60-70% of heroin.

Pharmacology:
Approx 30-60 seconds after injecting heroin users feel a surge of warmth, emanating from the lower spinal region as a “rush” of sensation glides through the central nervous system. An overriding sense of wellbeing quickly envelops the user. This sense of well-being is the users grail.

Behaviors of the heroin addicted often risk imprisonment, violence, social condemnation, physical disfigurement, disease and death.

Street heroin:
Cut with a number of additives such as quinine, milk sugar, starch, powered milk, and even talcum powder. In 1980 average purity was 4%; now its in the 70’s
Increase in purity can be attributed to greater availability, more sophisticated labs, and marketing techniques by retailers.

Physiological Effects: Occur very rapidly
Affected are:
CNS
Endocrine system
Cardiovascular system
Respiratory system
Gastrointestinal system
Skin

Within seconds, both the rate and depth of respiration sharply decrease. The rate of breathing can fall to 2 to 4 breathes a minute. As respiratory rates decline, blood pressure begins to drop, body temp plummets, skin becomes cold and clammy, eventually turning blue-grey. Seizures may occur and eventually repertory failure occurs. The brain stem drowns in the drug and the message to the diaphragm and lungs to breath drowns with it. Nothing glamorous here…Again, Why all the fuss?