Month: February 2019

Cocaine and Heroin

Cocaine and Heroin

Abstract

Drug consumption and addiction is a consistent behavior, characterized by uncontrollable or compulsive use and drug seeking regardless of its consequences. The condition can cause damage to the brain, and the effects can be long lasting. The research paper aims at determining the factors leading to the use of these drugs (cocaine and heroin). The overall goal is to create awareness on the importance of staying out of drugs due to its consequences that are long lasting and dangerous. The study will focus on the effects of using cocaine and heroin, the ingestion methods, mode of its transportation and the criminal activities associated with the aftermath of drug consumption. The research also seeks to find out ways of stopping and controlling the use of these drugs despite age race and gender.

Cocaine and Heroin

Introduction

A drug is a substance that when absorbed, consumed, smoked, injected, or inhaled through an area on the skin and melted through the tongue could result in a physiological change in an individual’s body. Hence, pharmacologists describe a drug or medicine as a chemical material used to prevent, cure and treat a disease to endorse an individual’s well-being. Traditionally drugs were extracted from medicinal plants. The three main categories of drugs are depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens. The depressants slow down the nervous and brain systems. They include heroin, codeine, and morphine (DECP, n.d.). Conversely, stimulants stimulate the central and the brain’s nervous system by increasing communication speed among the two. Thus, increasing physical activity and alertness. Some of the examples of drugs in this category include cocaine, methamphetamine, and phentermine. Hallucinogens interfere with the brain’s nervous system resulting in distortions of reality perception. Sensations, sounds and profound images will be experienced, though they do not exist. For instance ketamine and mescaline (DECP, n.d.). Our research will focus on the comparison of the abuse factors between two categories of drugs (cocaine and heroin), their effects on the human body, identification, and packaging, methods of ingestion, trafficking, and criminality of the two drugs categories.

Compare and contrast abuse factors between two categories

Drug abuse has been over the years been referred to as a drug disorder. It is also known as an addictive behavior and dependency on alcohol. Substance abuse spares no one and spreads out faster in the society thus, not restricted by religion, race, profession and age. Drug abuse is the utilization of drugs where an individual takes the substances in large amounts more than the required amount, thus leading to addiction (DECP, n.d.).   Abuse of Heroin and cocaine is a serious global problem affecting the economic, social and health of people in the society. Heroin can be abused by injecting intravenously, smoked or inhaled in powder form. The methods mentioned above crosses over the blood vain quickly. When it gets into the brain as a transformed morphine, it fastens the receptors found in the body and the brain. While in cocaine, addiction is tough since it lacks symptoms of physical withdrawal, but it is involved in psychological properties. Cocaine is normally used with sedatives such as valium and alcohol compared to the heroin (DECP, n.d.).

Effects of heroin in the body including the symptoms

An effect is a transformation that occurs because of an activity or action. Heroin promotes lasting imbalances in hormonal and neuronal systems that are difficult to turn around. Hence, hinders deterioration of the white matter found in the brain, which might affect decision-making and the ability to control one’s behavior. Heroin produces physical and tolerance dependence.  Drug tolerance is the process, whereby more drugs are needed to acquire some effects.  While in physical dependence, the body is adapted to the existence of withdrawal and drug symptoms, which occurs when the usage is reduced instantly. Withdrawal symptoms include; vomiting, restlessness, insomnia, cold flashes accompanied with slight goose bumps, diarrhea, muscle pain, and bone pain. Over the years, heroin has been known to cause addiction. Addiction is compulsive involvement of stimuli in spite of its consequences (Leschka et al., 2013). Once an individual is addicted, exercising the administration of the drug happens to be their principle in life.

 

 

Effects of cocaine on the body including the symptoms

Addiction to cocaine leads to wanting more of the drug, edginess and can lead depression. Users mostly lack the ability to sleep comfortably, it is accompanied by convulsion and increased heart rate, promotes anger, anxiety, and hostility even if they are not high. It interferes with the processing of chemicals in the brain; this might lead to hyperactive excitability and hallucination. Individuals who sniff cocaine do not eat nor sleep early. It promotes paranoia, and the user has a high risk of experiencing stroke, heart attack or seizure.

Identification and packaging

Identification is referred to as a psychological method, where an individual or subject understands a parcel partially or wholly, depending on the information provided. Its odorless, shiny, and crystalline powder identifies cocaine. Typically, it resembles a flurry of snow, always in beige and small white rocks. It is often packaged in small bags, ornamented with a dollar sign or hearts pictures, or in clear black bags. On rare occasions, it is packaged into newspapers and plastic bags. The heroin is a brown to white powdery substance, which also goes by the street name horse, wrapped in tiny balloon-like packages to the consumer due to its resin content. The drug leaches during the wrapping of the paper. Drug portion is taken and measured out for a suitable increment. The balloon is later crooked on the wrong side on a bundle of heroin then a knot is tied, giving the dealer a quicker means of disposing of the drug when they meet head-on with the police. As a result, it makes the package look larger than what it is. Hence, the drug can be less prone to be sensed by the police trained dog (Leshner & Koob, 2015).

 

 

Methods of ingestion

Ingestion can also be described as the use of a substance in a greater quantity than the recommended amount. There is a high likelihood that the process can lead to a premature death. There are plenty ways heroin is ingested. These can be through injecting, using a needle, sniffing, or snorting and smoking (Lyman, 2011). All the above-listed methods of ingestion can be used to consume heroin. However, injections still the fastest mode of getting high with the drug. Intravenous and intramuscular are the conventional methods of injections frequently used. Intravenous act instantly as compared to intramuscular, which takes longer. Smoking and the rest of the ingestion methods take longer but not more than 15 minutes. Sniffing Cocaine is the most common method of its ingestion. The drug coats are engrossed through mucous membrane facing the nasal passages.

During insufflations of cocaine, combination occurs leading to a higher increased sufficiency. Another ingestion process is the use of sanitary tampons, long fingernails, specialized spoons pointed end keys, cut straws (sharing of this straws can lead to hepatitis c), hollowed-out pens, and rolled up banknotes (Leshner & Koob, 2015). Their consumers refer to the following devices as tooters. In the above process, the cocaine is decanted on a flat surface, separated into lines or bumps then insufflated. Can be administered through an injection providing a high level of blood level in a short period. The last discussed process is the inhalation method of administration, which is done by breathing in the vapor and sublimating solid through heating.

 

 

Drug trafficking

Drug Trafficking is global illicit trade connected to distribution, manufacturing, and cultivation of materials or substances to laws of drug prohibition. Most judges forbid drug trafficking apart from when it is authorized, and a license is presented (Chandra & Joba, 2015). Cocaine trafficking, especially in Colombia, is done through secretive aircraft and the remaining are smuggled or shipped using air carriers.  Cocaine is smuggled into the United States by South Africans private and commercial pilots, ex-militaries, and the unlicensed aviators. The efficiency, morbidity, and speed of air transportation have made it the most preferred means of transportation amongst the traffickers. The heroin is also transported through shipping techniques for instance heroin is shipped from southwest Asia to Bombay in India (Chandra & Joba, 2015).

Issues in criminality

Crime is an illegal act or a destructive act not to one person but to the entire community or a state. Involvement in crime is always punishable by law. Drugs and crime are always linked together, the users of cocaine and heroin often commit crime by involving in shoplifting, fraud, burglary, and theft to acquire money to purchase drugs. People always commit many violent offenses when they are under control of drugs. For instance, an individual can commit murder or domestic violence without meaning to do so (Chandra & Joba, 2015). Violence that can lead to death occurs between drug merchants and their clients for owing them money. Research done by Australian government indicated that not all crimes are associated with the use of drugs.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Drug abuse is the utilization of drug more than the expected amount. It is different from drug addiction. Addiction to drugs or dependence shows withdrawal symptoms in case of the drugs discontinuation. Anyone can be a drug user despite the gender, social group and age .drug abuse is a medical condition developed in time rather than a flaw of character. Causes of drug abuse include inadequate engagement with parents, lack of guidance among the adolescents, poor performance in school, availability of the abused drugs at school, home or in the community, and use of drugs by peer friends. Excessive intake of heroin and cocaine leads to deterioration of health, mental illness, and not limited to muscle pain. Heroin and cocaine addiction is chronic. Both can be administered to the body through injection and smoking. 50milion people abuse these drugs worldwide.  They are packaged differently depending on the preference of the consumer. Transportation of these drugs has been through shipping and airlifting all through the years. Involvement in criminal activities while high on these drugs is punishable by law.