The Shocking Ectasy Of The Forbidden

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

Downloaded 911 times

"The Shocking Ecstasy of the Forbidden" "To be a confirmed heroin addict is to be one of the walking dead"¦. The teeth have rotted out, the appetite is lost, and the stomach and intestines don't function properly. The gall bladder becomes inflamed, eyes and skin turn a bilious yellow; in some cases membranes of the nose turn a flaming red; the partition separating the nostrils is eaten away-breathing is difficult. Oxygen in the blood decreases; bronchitis and tuberculosis develop. Good traits of character disappear and bad ones emerge. Sex organs become affected. Veins collapse and livid purplish scars remain. Abscesses plague the skin; gnawing pain racks the body. Nerves snap; vicious twitching develops. Imaginary and fantastic fears blight the mind and sometimes complete insanity results. Often times, too, death comes much to early in life"¦. Such is the torment of being a heroin addict; such is the plague of being one of the walking dead"(Deadly Short Cuts).

After reading something like that what would possess a person to try heroin? I speculate why people use heroin is because of the rush they get, to experiment with something new, and as a way out of everyday life.

Heroin is a derivative of opium, which comes from poppy seeds. The cultivation of poppies for opium can be traced back to 3,400 B.C. in Mesopotamia. Opium has turned up in just about every great civilization since including the island of Cyprus, Egypt, Alexander the Greats Prussia, and even our very own wild wild west. American history tells us that the stereotypical cowboy that drank straight whiskey isn't really accurate. Infact, it wasn't uncommon for Wild Bill Hickock and Kit Carson to skip the saloons and actually spend several days in dim candle lit rooms smoking opium with oriental prostitutes to achieve a dream-state of euphoria.

With that euphoria comes a bag of side effects from short too long-term. As soon as you shoot up severe itching and vomiting may ensue, and the heart and breathing slow down sometimes to the point of death. Heroin affects the brain stem, which controls the automatic body functions, and the limbic system, which controls the emotions we feel and the longer someone uses heroin the more damage is done. If you plan to be a long-term heroin addict, here are some things you have to look forward to. ""¦ Chronic heroin abuse include scarred and/or collapsed veins, bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves, abscesses (boils) and other soft-tissue infections, and liver or kidney disease. Lung complication (including various types of pneumonia and tuberculosis) may result from the poor health condition of the abuser as well as from heroin's depressing effects on respiration. Many of the additives in street heroin may include substances that do not readily dissolve and as a result in clogging the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidney's, or brain. This can cause infection or even death of small patches of cells in vital organs. Immune reactions to these or other contaminants can cause arthritis or other rheumatologic problems. Of course, sharing of injection equipment or fluids can lead to some of the most severe consequences of heroin abuse- infections with hepatitis B and C, HIV, and a host of others."(Heroin addiction). Even if people choose to kick the habit they still face terrible withdrawal. As little as forty-eight hours after the last hit symptoms may begin to peak. Drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and jitter legs are some of the most common and manageable symptoms. In some cases people have terrible hallucinations and even die as a result of withdrawal. Unfortunately for the addicts today things were not always like this. An old addict recalls his experience in a documentary. "It's not the drugs that's killing them. It's the other stuff mixed in. Back in my day, we didn't have all this chemical involvement. Now, you have all these non-chemist trying to be Pasteur. In my day, we were at least getting drugs. You don't see old timers with swollen and distorted members and abscesses and all that stuff"(Newsday196). And yet, heroin use is still on the rise. A study done by, Shelley L. Beckmann Ph. D., shows that "The number of people who have used heroin increased from 1.6 million in 1992 to 2.4 million in 1996"(heroin facts). The United States estimated that there were 141,000 new heroin users in 1995 and that number has been rising since 1992. Why are so many shooting up? It's the rush they get. Heroin blocks pain messages from the spinal chord and stimulates the limbic system to produce a dream like state of euphoria. This feeling is so good to them they don't even think about eating, drinking, sex, or even living. They want heroin. It's hard to elaborate on this since I have never done it and those who have can't describe it. All they say is that "You're not alive anywhere like on heroin." Hearing things like that leads to the next reason why people try heroin.

Experimentation is the biggest reason people get hooked on heroin. They know that it could kill them the first time they try it but the desire to experience something that no one can describe is too great. Several things can spark a desire in young people to try something. Television specials that are made to keep people from doing drugs can actually turn people on to them by telling them the affects, code names for drugs; they show huge parties with wild rich people. Internet cites that are for drug rehabilitation have quotes like "I may die, but it's the closest thing to kissing God." Movies have influence too, and one of the most influenceol is trainspotting. In one scene it shows a girl shooting up for the first time with her friend that is an addict an she begins to breath heavily and moan after the heroin is in her and the narrator says " Take the best orgasm you ever had, multiply it by a thousand, and you still won't touch heroin." Then a few scenes later a guy that was just dumped by his girl friend comes looking to try heroin. "You always say it's the best hit, it's better than sex." This is nothing new though, in the early 1900's Store owners would hang signs up of naked women that read "Experience the shocking ecstasy of the forbidden, BLACK OPIUM"(heroin information). The average age that people get started on heroin is 18, so it's easy to see how experimentation and curiosity are such a big cause for addiction.

Finally, I feel that people use heroin to escape the everyday struggle that has become their life. Some people drink or talk to themselves and day -dream to get away and others use heroin. It doesn't seem like the normal choice but what is normal? Heroin is setting these people free in a way that most of us never even begin to understand. On the other hand it is killing them slowly. Sometimes that too is a reason. People are stuck in a place they hate and can't or won't do anything to change it so they get on heroin and all their worries disappear. Soon they realize what has become of them and instead of getting help they get more heroin to forget about everything and stay in wonderland for another hit longer.

People from all different ages and backgrounds get hooked on heroin for several reasons all justified to them and misunderstood by us. "One of the most widespread beliefs about heroin is that the initiate is a helpless victim who has been seduced by an unscrupulous entrepreneur seeking to spread his or her evil wares by turning young children onto deadly drugs"(Faupel". When the truth is kids get themselves into it. Basketball Diaries is a good example of this. It's a movie about a group of kids growing in the city who like to party, and one day they decided to try heroin. That is a bad day because if you make up your mind to try something you might as well be on it. There are less dangerous forms of heroin like pills and capsules, but it's like they said in the movie "If you're going to pop it, you might as well snort it, and if going to snort it, you might as well bang it." Then they have you.

Overall no one can really say why anyone does anything, but if I were to try heroin it would because my curiosity got to me and I had to experiment with it. 141,000 people each year in the U. S. alone try a drug that kills and ruins lives more than any other does; maybe it is like kissing God.

Works cited