One of the oldest abused substances is continuing to cause problems for those prone to addiction. It may be surprising to many that drug addicts no longer fit a certain stereotype, but a new type of addict is indeed emerging, and that addict is abusing a legendary drug. Heroin use is growing to be a serious problem within our suburb communities.
The History of Heroin
Heroin has been used for centuries. It is derived from the poppy plant, which was cultivated for its opium by both the Egyptian and the Roman Empires. Opium was used primarily as a pain killer during this time, and later was used and abused recreationally. As early as 1729, opium was prohibited in China, but not until the 1900s was it more strictly regulated in other countries, including the United States.
Heroin, a chemically processed form of opium, was developed for the first time in 1810, and its popularity quickly soared because of its pain-relieving benefits. It was used extensively for medical purposes during the Civil War, but afterward became more widely abused. The sale of heroin was banned in the United States in 1924, and is now a Schedule I substance.
A New Addict
Heroin has been abused by drug addicts over the years, and is known for its addictive properties. It has a way of taking control over the user's life, causing addicts to end up homeless, sick, and even dead in a short amount of time. Heroin addicts fit the mold of hopeless junkie that often comes to mind when people hear the word drug addict.
Today, however, there is a growing problem with middle class Americans becoming addicted to the street drug. As more and more people become addicted to prescription medications, many are eventually turning to heroin use because it is cheaper and easier to get. The result is a population of addicts that many people don't suspect, and that are ashamed enough about their problem that they hide it and don't get help.
Heroin is a dangerous drug. Addiction can be treated, however, and individuals can learn to live a sober life without this substance. It is important for us to be aware that drug addiction can happen to anyone, and to encourage these individuals to get help.