HEROIN AGAIN! by Dr. Henry Paul, MD

March 19th, 2015

“New York City is now the “nation’s most significant” heroin hub,” according to city Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. NY Post, 3/16/15, NY is now heroin central: narcotics prosecutor

35442181_sI have been writing about heroin now for over a year in my blog, and the heroin situation just continues to get worse. Heroin is an epidemic that has taken America by storm. I cannot impress enough on parents that they need to educate themselves about the dangers of prescription painkillers and the rising use of heroin. These threats are particularly dangerous to our teenagers and young adults.

Here are some facts on Heroin from the DEA’s Prevention4teens:

  • Narcotics (such as heroin, morphine, OxyContin, etc.) are used to dull the senses and reduce pain. Narcotics can be made from opium (from the opium poppy) or created in a laboratory (synthetic and semi-synthetic narcotics).”
  • Heroin is a narcotic which can be injected, smoked or snorted. It comes from the opium poppy grown in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos and Myanmar— Burma); Southwest Asia (Afghanistan and Pakistan), Mexico and Colombia. It comes in several forms, the main ones being “black tar” from Mexico (found primarily in the western United States) and white heroin from Colombia (primarily sold on the East Coast). In the past, heroin was mainly injected. Because of the high purity of the Colombian heroin, many users now snort or smoke heroin. All of the methods of use can lead to addiction, and the use of intravenous needles can result in the transmission of HIV.
  • Heroin Effects: Euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils, and nausea.
    • Overdose Effects: Slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and possible death.
    • CSA Schedule: Heroin has no legitimate medical use: Schedule I.
    • Street Names: Horse, Smack, Black Tar, Chiva, and Negra (black tar).
  • Denial Can Make the Problem Worse:  Some parents may be afraid to confront the realities of drug use, so they may deny the truth, even to themselves. You may have heard some adults say: “My kid doesn’t use drugs.” “It’s not a problem for our family.” “I used drugs and survived.” “Drug use is a normal part of growing up.” “We’ll never solve the drug problem.” “Alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana.”

I recommend that you attend a forum at your local high school or a community coalition awareness forum to learn more about the substance and heroin abuse in your community. Many local coalitions are forming around the country to educate the public, parents and teens about the dangers of heroin and the painkillers that often are the “gateway” drug to it.

Some of the latest newspaper stories about the heroin epidemic:
Schumer Moves to Reverse President’s Cut in Critical Drug Trafficking Program
Man accused of stashing heroin in daughter’s diaper
4-year-old hands out heroin at daycare
Cops seize $2.5M worth of heroin in Bronx raid
Schumer slams Obama’s proposed cuts to anti-drug program


This blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.