It is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. It usually appears as a white or brown powder, or as a sticky black substance known as black tar heroin. Street names include smack, horse, brown sugar, dope, H, junk, skag, skunk, white horse, china water, and cheese. It can be injected, inhaled, or smoked. All three routes rapidly deliver the drug to the brain, which contributes to its health hazards and high risk for addiction. With an over abundance of prescriptions for opioids for pain management being written there is an increasing large group of people addicted to their prescription medications. This is creating a growing segment of society that is moving from prescription opioids to heroin as states are making it harder to purchase prescription medications illegally.
In the past, herion use was regarded as an inner city problem, but as overdose deaths are increasing, it is obvious that the problem is rampant in affluent neighborhoods as well. Deaths from heroin have risen to what some are calling the worst drug overdose epidemic in United States history.
Signs & Symptoms
If a heroin dependent user abruptly reduces or stops use of the drug, he or she may experience severe symptoms of withdrawal, which can begin as early as a few hours after the last ingestion of the drug. Signs of heroin use include:
- Dry mouth
- Warm flushing of the skin
- Muscle and bone pain
A Story of Success
Adult and Teen Challenge saved my life. My childhood was not what you would call ideal, due to the fact that my dad molested me until I was about 10.
After being admitted to 4 psych wards and 3 rehab facilities, I had a baby. I turned to pills, heroin, and liquor to deal with life and began having anxiety attacks. By the time I reached the doors of Teen Challenge, I was in rough shape. I had been on 17 different kinds of anti-psychotic medications.
Now, I know that Jesus loves me and NO ONE is “too far gone”. I have peace and hope today because Jesus has broken the bondage that made me such a sad person. I’m also off of all the crazy meds and I’ve never felt so much love for God and my family, especially my son. Thanks to all of the people who support Teen Challenge through their giving, people like me have freedom from addiction and hope for the future!
Effects of Use
Heroin use is associated with a number of serious health conditions including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, constipation and gastrointestinal cramping, and liver or kidney disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health of the user as well as from heroin’s effects on breathing.
In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin often contains toxic contaminants or additives that can clog arteries that supply blood to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage to vital organs.
Recovery: Our Process
Adult and Teen Challenge USA strives to provide a compassionate, caring welcome to new students when they arrive. New students will soon find that there are many others with similar stories and backgrounds, who are learning to live a new drug-free life.
Though the vast majority of Adult and Teen Challenge students—adults, youth, and families—come from a lifestyle of drug, alcohol, or other addictions, our focus is on the spiritual needs of the student. Our conviction is that the beginning of freedom from addiction starts by establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Once established, growth is vital for the new believer to learn how to not only change their behavior but to change their attitudes and their view on life. It is through this transformation of spirit, mind, and heart that lasting change takes place.
Adult and Teen Challenge deals with the “whole man” by endeavoring to help individuals become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive. Life transformation occurs through a restored relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ and a subsequent commitment to apply and live out the principles of God’s Word, The Bible, to our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in our everyday lives. This Bible based instruction – group and individual mentoring and discipleship – is the foundation on which all aspects of the Teen Challenge program are built. These principles bring true freedom from addiction, with a restored purpose and an eternal hope.