Depressants Depressants • Induce sleep, relieve acute pain, and are used to treat coughs, diarrhea, and various other illness. Opium • Known as the mother drug • Base compound for all of the natural narcotics • Derived from the poppy plant. • Used by Egyptian physicians nearly 6,500 years ago to kill pain. • Relieve anxiety, create euphoria, and provide an escape from reality, from that people began to use opium recreationally. • A person will develop a strong tolerance and physical dependence. Opium • The first law banning opium use was passed in 1875 in San Francisco. Morphine • Used as a painkiller, acts primarily on the central nervous system, eyes and digestive tract. By producing mental clouding, drowsiness and euphoria, it does not decrease the physical sensation of pain as much as it alters a person’s awareness of the pain; the person no longer cares about it. Morphine • Around 1800 morphine was extracted from opium and became known as a wonder drug because it brought quick relief from pain. • 10 times stronger than opium, exerts rapid depressing effects on killing pain. • When 250,000 injured Civil War soldiers became addicted, it became known as the soldiers’ disease • Because it is a useful drug, it is still prescribed for everything from headaches to skull fractures. Morphine • Illicit morphine is produced mostly in powder form as well as tablets, cubes and capsules. Heroin • In 1898 chemists • Because it is 35 times produced a new safe stronger than drug from morphine morphine, and even and introduced it as more potent painkiller, being able to cure it made people feel morphine and opium even more euphoric. addictions. • Because heroin was • During the early 1900s more addictive, in the the use of heroin early 1900s it was spread rapidly. banned. Did you know? • During the 1960s heroin use was widespread among American soldiers stationed in Vietnam. • There are an estimated 600,000 heroin addicts in the United States, with men outnumbering women addicts by three to one. Heroin • In its purest form, heroin is a white powder with an extremely bitter taste. • When sold almost always cut with starches and sugars. • Almost always injected, it can be smoked and snorted. • Heroin produces immediate euphoria, constricted pupils, lowered sex drive, less tension, and loss of appetite. • The euphoria will last 3 to 8 hours. Heroin • Users tend to become addicted within two weeks of use. • Many will develop a tolerance to the drug over time, with stronger and more frequent cravings. • Withdrawal symptoms occur 8 to 24 hours after the last fix. Physical Effects • Physical effects • When long term include constricted injection users may pupils, drowsiness, develop infections of slurred speech, and the heart lining and impaired attention or valves, skin abscesses, memory. and lung congestion. • Slowing down the respiratory system; overdoses can cause fatal respiratory shock. How users feel • The user will feel very relax with an immediate rush that will last up to 10 to 30 minutes. • 2 to 6 hours later they will feel indifferent, lethargic, and drowsy. • They will have trouble going through a normal routine. Risk and Effects • Other effects will include sensation of warmth or heaviness, dry mouth, facial flushing, and nausea. • Heroin and other narcotics to not last long, addicts have to “shoot up” two to five times a day. • With more doses, skin becomes cold, moist, and bluish. Breathing slows, the user can not be awaken and may stop breathing. Risks • Addiction is common. • Users continue taking narcotics as much to avoid the discomfort of withdrawal. Withdrawal • Withdrawal begins within 6 to 12 hours. • The intensity of the symptoms depends on the degree of the addiction. • Symptoms may include water eyes, running nose, nausea, diarrhea, chills, excruciating cramps and tremors. • Symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal get progressively worse for three to four days. • The user becomes more irritable and experiences episodes of severe sneezing. Methadone • Studies demonstrate • Very controversial, that only 10 to 30% of positive benefits have heroin users are able included decreased use to maintain abstinence. of heroin, decreased criminal behavior, • Methadone can decreased risk of substitute for AIDS, improvements detoxification usually of health, employment over a period of 21 to and other lifestyle 180 days as a factors. treatment.