Drugs - Opiate (OPI)
Opiate abuse can be classified by the excessive use of heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, Dilaudid, Demerol and OxyContin.
One of the more recognizable names on the lists of Opiates is heroin. Heroin, in it’s purest form is a powdered substance. It can be dissolved in water and injected into the veins, muscle or under the skin. Heroin is derived from morphine, which is a naturally occurring chemical found in the opium poppy plant.
Heroin reacts with opioid receptors in the brain to change how a person perceives pain. If injected, the effects can be felt within seconds. If smoked, the effects take roughly 10-15 minutes to be felt.
As per Health Canada, the short term effects of Heroin use are as follows:
- Lack of emotion (apathy)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Reduced appetite
- Decreased response to pain
- Pinpoint pupils and impaired night vision
- Itching or burning sensation of the skin
Likewise, the long term effects can include:
- An unstable mood
- Pinpoint pupils, which impair night vision
- Loss of interest in sex (decreased libido)
- Missed periods in women
- Respiratory impairment
Also according to Health Canada, the following street names are commonly used for Heroin:
- Black tar
- Dope (heroin)
For more information on this and other opiates please visit the Opiates section of the Health Canada website.