Psalm of a Heroin addict :
Heroin is my shepherd, it will always be wanting
He lays me down in a sewage ditch
To troubled waters he leads me
He destroys my sole
He leads me in the footstep of wickedness,
Yes, I go through poverty and will fear all calamity
Because you are with me -
You're needle and pellet comforts me
You pillage the table of my family
You make my head empty
My cup runs over with grief
Heroin addiction will follow me to the ends of my life
And I will live in the house of doom until the length of day
Heroin is considered one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs in the world. This drug is finding its way into South Africa at an alarming rate and is it clear that Heroin is the most popular choice for drug abuse amongst teenagers.
Heroin is a semi synthetic opiate synthesized from morphine.
METHOD OF USE
Heroin can be used in four (4) ways, namely :
- by injecting it
- by smoking it
- by snorting it through the nose
- by inhaling it - "Chase the Dragon"
It was found that people that experiment with Heroin will snort it because they are scared to inject it. The inhaling process of Heroin takes place by placing it on a piece of tinfoil, heating it and inhaling the fumes (smoke from the oil), this is known as "Chasing the Dragon".
The process of "Chasing the Dragon" is popular amongst teenagers, but the best known and popular method of using Heroin is still by injection. It is a known fact that people who inject drugs are very advanced in their level of dependency.
SPREAD OF ILLICIT DRUG TRAFFICKING WORLDWIDE, HEROIN/MORPHINE 1995.
According to the World Drug Report
5-15mg, up to 250mg a day
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.
Heroin was first introduced in South Africa in the form of a brown substance that was usually inhaled by the "Chasing the Dragon" process. As mentioned previously, today Heroin is mainly injected and snorted.
Heroin was also relatively expensive (±R250 - R300 per gram), but currently addicts can obtain Heroin for as little as R30.
The low price of the drug and the strong physical effects that Heroin has make it very attractive for the youth and therefore it is common to find school children from the ages 12 - 14 that are addicted to this drug.
When asked how he obtained clients, a drug dealer from Johannesburg replied that he would visit a place where young people are having a party and distribute Heroin for free. The very next day all these people would willingly become his clients.
Heroin can be classified as the most dangerous drug amongst the youth of South Africa, not because the number that use Heroin, but because of the physical addiction that it causes.
EFFECTS OF HEROIN
Heroin is a depressant. As soon as a person uses Heroin he/she will find that he/she reaches a 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 serious decay of the body like serious heart valve regurgitation, brain damage as well as damage to the organs of the body, such as the kidneys, liver and the lungs. Because it is such a very strong depressant and muscle relaxant it has happened that during overdosing the heart valves were affected and the heart just stops beating.
It was also found the in cases where Heroin addicts inject themselves in the normal 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 unusual places, such as :
- the feet (between the toes)
- behind the knees
- in the groin area
- the neck
It was also found that where heroin addicts inject themselves, they cannot inject in the same place, such as the arms, for a prolonged period since the veins collapse and become hard.
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. Most of these cases are teenagers under the age of 18.
The misuse of Heroin is holding the largest threat for teenagers in South Africa. It is slowly but surely becoming the drug of choice amongst most teenagers, because it is :
- physically addictive
- easily obtainable
- Hairy / Harry
- China White
PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF HEROIN
- physical and psychological dependency
- serious physical deterioration
- weight loss / appetite loss
- unable to concentrate
- less physical activities
- 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 arms
- between toes
- behind knees
- in the groin area
OPIUM AND MORPHINE
"Opium" is the name of the coagulated juice of the opium poppy or otherwise known as the plant of the species Papaver somniferum L.
Papaver somniferum L. is an annual plant growing in many countries around the world. It favours a moderate climate. It has white to red flowers and round to elongated capsules with dark violet seeds.
After the plant has flowered, small cuts are made, and a white substance oozes out. As soon as the liquid becomes sticky and dark in colour, the substance is known as raw opium. Products such as Morphine, Cocaine and derivates such as Heroin, are made from Opium.
Heroin is 10 times stronger than Morphine and Morphine is 10 times stronger than Opium..
The Opium poppy was already known by 3000BC and was known as the "Joyplant" (Hull Gil).
Opium was imported from India to China and the tax attempts lead to the Opium War in 1839 – 1856 in China.
China then started farming and harvesting their own poppies and they became one of the main suppliers of Opium.
Morphine was synthesized from Opium by a German pharmacist in 1805 and Heroin was synthesized from Morphine in Germany during 1874. Morphine became popular during the American Civil War and a lot of soldiers were addicted to Morphine after the war.
Morphine and Heroin was originally introduced as a non-addictive substances, but Heroin was already abused worldwide in the early 1900's.
The most Opium poppies can be found in the "Golden Triangle" - Burma, Thailand and Laos (South Asia) and the "Golden Crescent" - Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan (South West Asia).
Countries such as Turkey, India, Colombia and Mexico are also producing Opium.
Opium in the abovementioned countries is known as Golden crop, Chinese Gold and Black Gold
The poppy plant only grows in these specific areas because the soil contains a very specific alkaloid.
ILLICIT PRODUCTION OF MORPHINE AND HEROIN
- Poppy Straw
- Opium / Raw Opium
- Crude Morphine
- Heroin Hydrochloride
Read more about the following drugs...
Dagga | Mandrax | LSD | XTC | Cocaine | Heroin | Rohypnol | Welcanol | Pethadine