Heroin: The Sleepy Killer

February 4th, 2014 by Will Humble Leave a reply »

I’ve written several posts about how prescription painkillers kill more Arizonans than heroin and cocaine combined- but heroin is still the No. 1 killer among the illegal drugs.   One hundred people died from a heroin overdose in AZ in 2013 (vs. about 1,000 from prescription drugs). 

Heroin is very addictive.  According to NIDA, about 23% of people that try heroin will become addicts.   Most addicts and new users mix the heroin with water and inject it into the bloodstream directly.  Injecting it basically eliminates any lag time- and the euphoric effects are almost immediate.  Heroin is sometimes smoked, snorted or eaten, but smoking or eating it mutes its effects. 

Once it’s in a person’s blood- the heroin turns into morphine.  Morphine is similar to endorphins…  which are chemicals that your body makes to halt pain and create a good feeling by inhibiting your neurons from firing.  The morphine binds to the opioid receptors in your brain.  The blocking of those opioid receptors creates a “high”.  Most people that die from a heroin overdose expire because their brain forgets to tell their body to breathe…  and they basically suffocate.



  1. Arlin Troutt says:

    Mr. Humble, President Nixon’s 91st Congress ignored the studies they ordered that recommended marijuana possession and use be removed as a felony in the Controlled Substance Act. Instead of following the explicit recommendations about the safety and medical value of marijuana Congress re-classified, compared and confused marijuana use and our kids with heroin addiction. This misinformation and deliberate mis-classification of marijuana was the grand gateway to true destructive drug addiction and death. This amounts to murder when you lie about the history, safety and medical value of a substance to dupe kids into supporting this gigantic addiction industry that has evolved into an American Epidemic of Disaster. Do you still support this 44 year Controlled Substance Act classification and confusion of marijuana use with heroin addiction knowing the deadly damage and destruction this is causing?

  2. Arlin Troutt says:

    The actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was born 3 years before President Richard Nixon and the 91st Congress ignored the studies and recommendations they ordered before voting on the Controlled Substance Act in 1970. Instead of taking marijuana off the felony list, as advised, they classified marijuana as a “class one narcotic” along with heroin.They misrepresented the research and claimed marijuana was dangerous,addictive and had no medical value. Millions of kids studied history and smoked marijuana and assumed the Government and Press was lying about heroin also. Deliberately misrepresenting an ancient herbal medication from the garden with test tube heroin to dupe kids into addiction was a vicious crime against humanity. It’s time to demand the end of this Bloody Drug War and Deadly Prohibition of Marijuana. It’s time to return medicine to doctors and real crime to the police. It’s time to demand accountability for this deliberate attack on humanity and assault on our Constitution and Principals that United this Nation.

  3. PJ Reed says:

    Wrong, as usual, Mr. Humble. Tobacco is hands down the most lethal substance available in the American landscape, and how it might be that you are not aware of this irrefutable is somewhat beyond. Somewhat, indeed, for I have by now grown quite accustomed to you ineptitude in direct association with you current post at the top of the food chain in ADHS. Does this fact have anything to do with the related fact that in the state of AZ’s sole long term public mental facility, ASH, staff sanctioned tobacco trafficking is rampant to such a degree that any person with a modicum of familiarity with ASH is fully aware of the presence of these illicitly distributed substances? This is a long standing issue that ASH administrators and senior clinicians have been turning a blind eye to ever since all AZ public facilities were decreed as “smoke free.” You know this, and I can prove it. Likewise, knowing as I do- and the greater public in this context- that you will not share this commentary on your official propaganda aka “blog”, I will be happy to publish it on mine. Have a nice day.

    • Will Humble says:

      My post above was about “illegal” drugs… and tobacco is legal. Of course, you’re right from a public health perspective… tobacco kills more people than both heroin and prescription painkillers.

    • Mark says:

      Without question tobacco is the king of killers when it comes to drugs. All other drugs put together would not equal the damage caused by tobacco

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