Heroin is extremely addictive and is the most rapidly acting opiate in its drug classification. Opiates are defined as any naturally occurring narcotic alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant (papaver somniferum). Heroin in a semi-synthetic opioid, which means it is partially man-made. Heroin is derived from morphine, which is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seed pod of certain poppy plants. Asia, Mexico and Columbia are home to the majority of these specific poppy plants. Typically, heroin comes in a white or brownish powder, but can also come in a black sticky substance known as “black tar” heroin. Individuals more commonly abuse heroin by snorting or smoking it. Heroin can also be injected directly into the bloodstream for a more intense high. Heroin enters the brain very rapidly and produces an almost instantaneous high. For this reason, heroin is highly addictive, both physically and mentally. Individuals who abuse heroin describe the high as a feeling of intense euphoria (a rush) followed by a twilight state of sleepiness. Heroin abusers quickly develop a tolerance and need more and more of the drug to achieve the same intense high. fortunately, this creates a cyclical pattern of higher doses being needed, that leads to an increasingly dangerous addiction.

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