Heroin (Still) Chic

heroinA drug may fade from the headlines, but it never really goes out of style. Is heroin, which became a hot drug in the ‘90s, still popular among substance abusers?

It wasn’t the first drug to inspire fashion (the ‘60s psychedelics certainly influenced the multi-colored styles of that era), but the “heroin chic” look of the early and mid-‘90s was shocking because it was so anti-fashion. Models made up to look strung out while wearing high-end clothes that resembled thrift store finds were a far cry from the clean-scrubbed, preppy ‘80s look that preceded it.

The trend may have died down, but the drug use continues. Heroin is still the most abused drug in the opiate family. It’s also the fastest-acting form of opiate, making it particularly addictive because it enters the brain so rapidly. Add to that the fact that a single dose of heroin can be cheaper than a six-pack of beer and provide a much more intense high, and it isn’t hard to see why it’s still around. Of the 1.7 million drug-related emergency room visits in 2006, nearly 200,000 were due to heroin use, proving heroin use continues to be a big problem in the U.S.

Heroin is derived from opium, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of certain varieties of poppy plants. Morphine is also a derivative of opium, and heroin was actually developed as a safer substitute for morphine. However, it was quickly discovered that heroin is even MORE addictive than morphine, and as a result the drug was made illegal. That didn’t hurt its popularity any.

If you or someone you know is battling a heroin addiction or any substance abuse problem, contact The Oaks at La Paloma at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.

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