Men can leap into experimentation with hard-hitting drugs like heroin and crack cocaine at young ages. These potent drugs ravage the adolescent brain and make it so teenage boys are more likely to become addicted.
When men are ensnared in addiction they tend to become more violent and begin to engage in criminal acts. They are not alone in their addiction— over the decades drug addiction has risen drastically on a national scale.
The History of Heroin
In the 1970’s there was an alarming increase of people addicted to morphine. Heroin, created in 1974, was praised as the new remedy for morphine addiction. This wonder drug was derived from either morphine or the opium poppy. Its conquest was short-lived. By 2011, millions of Americans were addicted to heroin. Today, heroin is known as one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs, and it is illegal in the United States.
How Heroin Works
Heroin wears many names on the street. It can be known as “junk”, “H”, “black tar”, “smack”, and “skag.” People buy it as a white or brownish powder and it is cut with a number of other ingredients, like sugar, starch, or poison. There are numerous ways to take heroin. You can smoke, inject, sniff, or snort the drug. Heroin is a “downer” drug, and it blocks the brain’s ability to recognize pain and changes the pleasure system.
The abuse of Heroin is devastating. Both short term and long term users struggle with the physical, mental, and social effects. Some of the physical problems encountered by addicts are respiratory failure, infection from needles, Kidney disease, Liver disease, and death.
Frequent use also results in high anxiety, mood swings, depression, disorientation, paranoia, entire personality shifts, low self-esteem, and rage. Lastly, socially abusers wrestle with withdrawal, lost interests, damaged relationships, and a division may occur in the family.
Spotting the Signs of Heroin
Learn the signs of Heroin addiction and help your loved ones get the help they need. Because men react differently to drugs than women, spotting the signs of heroine addiction might be less obvious. Women tend to develop anxiety disorders and typically do not hide their addictions as well as men. Traditionally men are the main providers in a home and are held to different societal standards than women. Consequently, they may try harder to hide evidence of drug paraphernalia such as needles and other supplies used.
Those under the drug’s influence will struggle to focus and stay engaged. You may find that they frequently nod out like they are sleeping. They will have small pupils, usually the size of a pinpoint.
Individuals abusing heroin will have needle marks on their body. Typical spots for injection include the wrist, back of hand, behind the knees, and between the toes. Long-term users will have collapsed veins and may resort to inserting it in the thigh, arm, or buttocks.
More serious signs could include health problems. If you know someone struggling with miscarriages, abscesses, HIV, hepatitis C, and blood infections they could be using the drug.
Their personality may have radically shifted as well. They will disengage from family and friends. They lose interest in hobbies and forget commitments.
Finally, they may battle withdrawal. They may include heavy sweating, nausea, vomiting, muscle, bone aches, and irritability.
The final sign is overdosing. This is when the Heroin abuse has reached a critical level. If they have overdosed, they cannot be woken up. Their lips could give off a blueish tint, also seen on their nails, and skin. Contact 911 immediately in this situation.
The History of Cocaine
Another highly addictive drug is derived from coca leaves. Cocaine and crack emerged on the scene in the 1970’s. Cocaine, along with heroin, picked up speed among users in the 1980’s. By 1985, the number of addicts for both drugs was in the millions.
How Cocaine Works
Sold as a way to create more profit, crack was born and sold off in little nuggets. Users could smoke crack, something they were unable to do with pure cocaine. However, pure cocaine is commonly used by inhaling it through the nose, but it can also be injected, swallowed, and taken as a suppository.
Spotting the Signs of Cocaine
Like heroin, there are plenty of signs that someone is addicted to crack or crack cocaine. Dilated pupils and a dry mouth are the first symptoms of the drug. Users may lack an appetite and profusely sweat. Words will spill out of their mouths and they will be restless. This restlessness will keep them up at all hours of the night. They will forgo sleep and do something active instead.
Darker symptoms include depression, isolation, paranoia, and wild mood swings. They can experience periods of hallucinations and confusion. These hallucinations typically manifest as bugs wiggling under their skin. Their time is filled with picking and scratching at their skin.
Long term symptoms lead to Parkinson’s disease and frequent binging on the drug. Binging results in a mental crash that brings about depression, agitation, exhaustion, and intense cravings.
Men tend to be more defensive than women when accused of drug abuse. The telltale signs can help loved ones spot drug abuse at an early stage and find help before further damage is done.