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Heroin Facts

  • Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed-pod of the Asian poppy plant.
  • Heroin's potent pain-relieving properties may actually conceal symptoms of real physical illness or disease such as pneumonia and delay treatment.
  • Long-term use of heroin causes tolerance to develop so that in order to achieve the same degree of euphoria, larger and larger doses must be taken. When people have been off heroin for some time their tolerance decreases and a common cause of death result
  • In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin may have additives that do not readily dissolve and result in clogging the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain. This can cause infection or even death of small patches

The fight against drug addiction




Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has introduced a program that would fund acupuncture detoxification and prescription of buprenorphine to curb a growing heroin-addiction problem, the Boston Herald reported March 20. "Substance abuse is a human issue. It's our sister, our brothers, our cousins, our neighbors," said Menino. "We're all in this together."

In the past two years in the city, heroin-related hospitalizations increased 78 percent. Over the past 10 years, heroin-related deaths increased 500 percent. The city has also seen a significant increase in the use of OxyContin in the last three years.

Under Menino's program, $180,000 would be spent on doubling the number of city-sponsored acupuncture detoxification visits to 3,000 a year. The treatment helps addicted individuals cope with withdrawal symptoms.

In addition, the number of doctors who can distribute buprenorphine in their office would double to 10.

Community groups would also be offered grants under the program.

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