Posts Tagged ‘NIDA’

Heroin: The Sleepy Killer

February 4th, 2014

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.

Drug Facts Week

November 1st, 2011

Teens and drug experts across the land will connect for the 2nd annual National Drug Facts Week this week.  The week-long event is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)– and brings together teens and scientific experts in community events across the country to discuss scientific facts about drug abuse- including prescription drug abuse.  Events can be sponsored by a variety of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs, book clubs, and local hospitals. The Institute provides an online school toolkits walk folks through how to create and publicize an event- as well as turn-key curriculum materials.