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How Does Heroin Work

 

How does heroin work? How heroin exactly works was not known for years. What was known only was that, like opium and morphine, it depressed the central nervous system: the brain and spinal cord.

 

Heroin is an opioid. Opioid.s are very powerful painkiller. The body and the brain are packed with opioid receptors, meant for endorphins, the body's own natural pain-killing substances produced in emergency moments of shock or injury.

 

Heroin mimicks endorphines and binds rapidly with endorphine receptors, extending and magnifying their natural painkilling effect. The result is a surge of pleasurable sensation, or "rush." This rush is usually accompanied by a warm feeling and a sense of well-being.

 

Two American researchers, Dr. Solomon Snyder and researcher Candace Pert of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recently pinpointed, however, "Specific opiate receptor sites" in animal brains. With this, they charted how heroin works in the human brain.

 

The area of the brain where they found the heaviest concentration of opiate receptors is the "corpus striatum," which, they reported, seemed to play a part in integrating motor activity and perceptual information. The receptors occurred much less frequently, they said, in the "cerebral cortex," which regulates higher intellectual functions, and the "brain stem," which controls sleeping and wakefulness.

 

With their findings, Snyder and Pert are now investigating whether producing addiction in an animal may permanently, increase the number of receptor sites in its brain, creating an insatiable, physiological craving for opiates that endures long after withdrawal.

 

How does heroin work on the user.s body? When heroin is first infiltrated into a person's body, the brain's natural chemistry reacts with the heroin toxins to create what users describe as a feeling of 'euphoria'. Other heroin effects can also include dizziness, feeling as though the body has become heavy and the person cannot move, as well as nausea and a change in skin temperature. In addition, heroin users will also begin to feel tired, or as though the world no longer exists around them and their ability to function both mentally and physically will decrease. Heroin.s effects damage the nervous system and can also cause short and long term harm to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Because of the toxins in the drug, as well as the way that it is taken into the body, heroin is a drug that many people overdose on. While lucky people come out of the overdose alive and unharmed, others either die or have severe and permanent damage as a result.

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