Narcotics are drugs that increase relxation and relieve pain, anxiety, tention, and depression. Most two powerful narcotics, morphine and heroin, are driven from the poppy seed pod.
Although morphine is used medically to control severe pain, heroin is illegal in the united states. This has not prevented its widespread use.
Heroin users usually inject the drugs directly into their veins with a hypodermic needle.
The immediate effect has been described as a “rush” of positive feeling, similar in some respects to a sexual orgasm and just as difficult to describe.
After the rush, a heroin user experiences a sense of well being and peacefulness that lasts three to five hours.
When the effects of the drugs wear off, however, the user feels extreme anxiety and a desperate desire to repeat the experience.
Moreover, the larger amount of heroin is needed each time to produce the same pleasureable effect. These last two properties are all the ingredients necessary for biological and psychological addiction:
The user in constantly either shooting up and attempting to obtain ever-increasing amounsts of the drug. Eventually, the life of the addict revolves around the heroin.
Because of the powerful positive feelings the drugs produce, heroin addiction is particularly difficult to cure. One treatement that has shown some success is the use of methadone.
Use Of Methadone:
Methadone is a synthetic chemical that satisfies heroin users psychological cravings for the drug without providing the “high” that accompanies heroin.
When heroin users are placed on regular doses of methadone, they may be able to function relatively normally.
The use of methadone has one substaintial drawback, however, although it removes the psychological dependence on heroin, it replaces the biological addiction to methadone.
Researchers are attempting to identify nonaddictive chemical subsitutes for heroin as well as substitutes for other addictive drugs that do not replace one addiction with another.
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