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A Puppet to Addiction
Imagine waking up everyday, needing that surge of euphoria the moment you wake up. The addiction grasps on a daily basis, knowing the sickness that is around the corner if it is not taken. The dosage grows greater everyday. The odds of kicking it decreasing everyday. Withdrawal symptoms attack if you try to kick the addiction (Heroin Addiction). It's dangerous, yet people still try it. Heroin addiction not only hurts the addict, it hurts everybody involved in their life.
People take addictive drugs, such as heroin to get a rush. The rush is basically used as a shortcut to release Dopamine. This is a chemical in the brain that when released gives pleasure. When it is damaged from releasing too much, the person will have to increase dosage, and will experience less joy when sober (The Addicted Brain). Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid that is made from the seed pods of poppy plants. It works faster than morphine because it crosses the blood-brain barrier quicker. It binds receptors in the brain, which makes it go numb and get a rush. It also binds the gastro-intestinal system and the spinal chord. It is used as a pain killer although it is illegal in most countries. Although it is a legal prescription drug, in the United Kingdom, the name changes to diamorphine hydrochloride. It was first synthesized from morphine in 1874, but sale was banned by United States congress in 1924. Eighty-seven percent comes from Afghanistan, but Mexico and Colombia provide the poison for the United States. It can be smoked snorted, ingested or most commonly injected. Transporting heroin in most Southeast Asian countries brings the death penalty. Increased amounts are needed each dose and when used with alcohol can be deadly (Heroin Addiction). Heroin is harmful to the addicts brain and body.
Another factor that makes heroin so deadly is that it is extremely addictive. According to Nikki Sixx being hooked on heroin is like:
When you're sitting on a plane 40,000 feet up in the air, looking out the window, dreaming of
your future and how bright it appears to be, or maybe just watching drops of rain being pushed
into different designs from the force of the air... It feels safe, your seat belt is on and your feet
are up. Then the oxygen masks fall, the plane jumps, snaps, and jolts. People start to scream,
babies start crying, people start praying all in time to the overhead announcement that we're
gonna crash. Right then as your life flashes before your eyes... Right then the nose of the plane
pulls up and the captain says “Wow that was a close one, folks. We're OK, we'll be landing in
thirty minutes and we're all safe and sound, sorry for the scare” (166-167). Addicts do anything to get back on the plane, regardless of the people they hurt in the attempt.
Those who have involved themselves with heroin have endangered their lives and well being. The drug is nothing new to Russia, and rarely raises eyebrows. But in 2008 nearly 60,000 new cases of HIV had been reported. In 2009 the rate worldwide had increased by 8%. Of the new cases over 60% believe they have contracted it from intravenous drug intake (Schwirtz). In Tanzania drug couriers are commonly being paid in heroin. Drug use was uncommon, but now there are an estimated 25,000 drug injectors, 40 percent of which are infected with H.I.V. Also in Africa they fear the unfamiliar and blame it on witchcraft. Heroin is already unfamiliar, so the more addictive, yet helpful methadone are feared (McNEIL). There is a scarier aspect of heroin addiction in Tanzania. Some users reported have been inducing themselves in a new practice, called flashblood, or flushblood. It is the act of injecting themselves with another addicts blood in hopes of catching the high. It is not common, but it is high risk. Those who try flashblood put themselves at a higher risk of contracting AIDS and hepatitis (McNEIL). Addicts can be desperate enough to do anything, even if it involves hurting themselves even more, affecting themselves for life.
Heroin not only causes diseases by sharing needles, it can bring an infant to the edge of life in it's first few days of life. In women heroin addiction may not only be harmful to themselves, it can also be fatal for babies. In addition to an addicted mother's problem, her infant will suffer withdrawal symptoms. Taking methadone while pregnant is not good for the baby either. Pemberton wonders why when an addicted mother finds out she's pregnant that she will not kick the habit for her unborn child. Statistics show that 100 babies are born addicted a week. Babies that are born addicted are gray, limp and unresponsive, and are given morphine to ease the withdrawal symptoms (Pemberton). In 2005 about 70 babies were born addicted at two of Maine's biggest hospitals combined. In 2010 the number climbed to 276. Other states have shown similar rises in addicted newborns. In some hospitals women addicted to opiates bearing a child are not admitted. A new drug called buprenorphine has been increasingly used to fight off addiction, it also does not give infants withdrawal. Every hospital is different with what they give, and being a controversial subject there is no standard procedure to help. In the future a drug that helps may be given out everywhere, but only when more is known (Goodnough). Even Women should seek help before they discover pregnancy, not only for themselves but for a child that deserves to come into the world innocent.
Drugs have always been glorified in music and movies, but people even try to follow in the foot steps of the those tainted by fame. Steve-o idolized Motley Crue growing up. According to his dad finding Motley's hotel room was the most motivated he'd ever seen his twelve year old son in his life (Glover, 25). As for the Motley Crue perspective of drugs Sixx found himself destined to be an addict because of his childhood and his idols did heroin. Sixx didn't even like it the first time he did, he was just in the mind set that if they did it so could he. What he didn't keep in mind was that most of them died such as Sid Vicious, and Johnny Thunders (46). Even years later Kurt Cobain grew so depressed from his addiction that suicide felt like the only answer. He saw his wife and baby daughter as better off without him. Heroin being glorified does not help anything, it just drives people to do what they're supposedly destined to do. Heroin hurts family, band mates, and fans.
Heroin is a drug that should never even be experimented with. It causes pain and misery to everybody involved. It has been banned and even has the death penalty for trafficking it. So why are people so desperate for it? Why would they bargain their precious life for one high? Because it has them hooked to the point that is all they want, regardless of the friends and family they hurt. Addiction grasps the addict to the drug, causing physical, mental and emotional pain in the psychosis of the addict. Heroin not only hurts the addict, it hurts everybody touched by the demon.