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Consequences of Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction has many short and long term affects. It causes breathing complexities, dry mouth, dilated pupils, slurred speech, vomiting and constipation within few hours of first taking the drug. One implication of injecting the drug through using a syringe is that it increases risk of HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis.
Over a long term after using a drug for a prolonged time period it may cause infection of valves, abscesses, cellulites and liver diseases. Street heroin may cause blood clotting of vessels as it contains additives that do not dissolve. Regular use increases the tolerance level, which means the dose to achieve the same euphoric state increases.
Consequences of Prescription Medication Addiction
Most prescription medication is physically addictive. To abruptly discontinue prescription medications, could create a situation where the person could immediately experience seizures or convulsions. It is for this reason, that withdrawal from prescription medications should be gradual and under medical supervision. This is best accomplished in a residential treatment program to guard against any medical complications.
The discomfort associated with withdrawal from these medications is contingent upon the dose the person is taking and the length of time they have been taking it. Some people take between 20 and 30 pills daily.
In addition to the physical addiction created by abusing prescription medication, people also experience a deterioration in personal relationships, employment difficulties due to a lack of concentration and motivation, financial difficulties, legal problems, as well as, psychological difficulties. Most of the people found addicted to prescription medication have experienced most of the above.
Research and Development on Heroine Vaccines
Research and development on creating heroine vaccines is being conducted by The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). It has done the initial experimentation on rats and now the vaccines are ready to be tested on human beings.
Heroin breaks down rapidly when it enters the bloodstream and then metabolizes with another compound known as 6-acetylmorphine before entering the brain. This process has made it challenging for the scientists at TSRI to create an effective vaccination against heroin.
The heroin vaccine being developed is able to keep heroin out of the brain. This creates hope because it not only targets heroin in the bloodstream but also its psychoactive breakdown of products and the compound it metabolizes into. This includes the 6-acetylmorphine and morphine which is one of the biggest reason heroin is so addicting.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction can be recognized through a number of symptoms, which include:
- Slurred Speech
- Excessive sleep
- Weight loss
- Careless attitude towards school or work
- Injection wounds and trademarks on arms and legs
- Distancing from family and friends
- Abrupt behavioral changes
- Bruises due to skin picking
- Constricted pupils
- Forgetfulness or lack of memory
- Lack of interest in the future
- Patterns of fatigue and then, sudden alertness
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