addictions_03Drug Addiction

Heroin Addiction

South African Market
During the 80’s, Heroin was a relatively unknown drug in South Africa, but since then has secured a tight hold on the drug market.

Today Heroin is mainly injected, smoked and snorted. Heroin was also relatively expensive but currently addicts can obtain Heroin for much less. The low price of the drug and the strong physical effects that Heroin has, make it very attractive for the youth.

Effects of Heroin
Heroine is a depressant. As soon as it is used the user experiences very high level of relaxation and it seems as if the person has gone into a very deep trance or coma. The long-term use of Heroin can lead to very severe damage to the body including serious heart valve regurgitation, brain damage as well as damage to the kidneys, liver and the lungs.

Because it is a strong depressant and muscle relaxant it has happened that during overdosing the heart valves are affected and the heart just stops beating. It was also found in cases where Heroin addicts inject themselves in the obvious places, such as the arms, they could not inject in the same place for very long as the veins collapse and become hard. When this happens, they start injecting themselves in other places, such as:

  • the feet (between the toes)
  • behind the knees
  • in the groin are
  • the neck

It was also found that where heroin addicts inject, they cannot do so for prolonged periods as these places on the body become infected, the veins become hard and then collapse. Heroin is an unpredictable drug; therefore users overdose regularly. It is known that a certain
hospital in Pretoria treats between 10 – 25 cases of overdosing on Heroin weekly. many of these cases are teenagers under the age of 18.

Physical Effects of Heroin

  • physical and psychological dependency
  • serious physical deterioration
  • weight loss / appetite loss
  • inability to concentrate
  • less physical activities
  • drowsiness
  • constipation
  • lung problems
  • continuous infections
  • impotence
  • decrease in sex drive

Physical Evidence of Heroin

  • tinfoil that is burnt black
  • funnels, made out of tinfoil, that look like straws
  • injection needles, burnt teaspoons
  • Needle marks on body

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