Heroin is arguably one of the most dangerously addictive illicit substances in the world.
Being significantly less popular among other drugs in Australia does not take away its ability to claim more lives than other illegal drugs.
Heroin is a sedative and a depressant. A person high on heroin can barely do any work, which is a testament to the strength of the drug.
A heroin user needs intervention and needs it badly.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an opiate sourced from poppy seeds. It can be smoked, snorted or injected into a vein. It results in an intense feeling of elation that lasts for 3-5 hours.
The drug triggers a potent release of dopamine. And once the user’s brain gets used to the euphoric rush, he or she will experience intense cravings for the drug.
Other names for heroin are smack, dope, black tar, and China white. Heroin comes in powder form, granule form, and pieces of brown rock.
Effects Of Heroin
The short-term effects of heroin are feeling a sense of euphoria or a rush. It puts the user in a drowsy state which makes it impossible for a worker to function while high on this drug.
Other side effects include a dry mouth, slurred speech, heavy limbs, impaired mental function, vomiting, and constipation, decreased breathing, decreased heart rate, and low blood pressure.
Heroin is deadly addictive and terrifies even those who experiment with other drugs since it can make a user dependent very quickly. Diminished pain relief and less euphoric side effects are evident after just the initial dose.
Users describe the initial high as an absence of all pain, worries, and anxieties. And users will keep trying to replicate this high but can never go back to the initial rush they felt the first time.
More frequent use of the drug leads to the compulsive cycle that leads to addiction.
Heroin’s Effect On The Body’s Pain Receptors
Upon close examination, heroin’s ability to diminish pain is unlike that of other drugs. Other drugs build up a person’s tolerance by making the chemical receptors less sensitive to the drug with repeated use of the drug.
With heroin, however, the body’s chemical receptors do not become less sensitive to the drug. The receptors remain sensitive to the drug, but the body’s pain sensitivity increases.
What this means is that the pain signals easily travel to the brain easier. With the repeated use of heroin, the more easily a person feels pain and the more inclined to will he or she reach for pain relief.
Heroin Users Are At A High-Risk Of Contracting Diseases and Illnesses
Injecting heroin and sharing needles carries with them a high risk of contracting HIV, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and C.
What Heroin Withdrawal Is Like
Giving up heroin after using it for a long time is challenging and a user will almost always relapse. Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually start within 6 to 24 hours after the last dose and can last for about a week.
Withdrawal symptoms from heroin are intense and get very physical. The first three days are the worst, and the user will experience any of the following:
- Intense drug cravings
- Restlessness and irritability
- Depression and crying
- Loss of appetite
- Mania and psychosis
- Restless sleep
- Stomach and leg cramps
- A runny nose
- Fast heartbeat
Heroin Use At Work
Even though the addiction can be severe, it is not easy to spot a heroin user at the workplace.
As with all illicit substance abuse, heroin users are very good at hiding their drug habit.
Heroin users are a very high risk for the workplace. They may end up stealing from your company to support their habit. Not only that, a heroin user may create a very negative work environment where your best workers will feel uncomfortable at best, victimised or even in danger.
Keep your staff away from all the problems that come with employing a heroin user. A heroin user also needs a comprehensive rehab program, which will mean extensive time off and a high risk of relapse.
How To Identify A Heroin-Using Employee
As we pointed out previously, it is very difficult to detect a drug user at your workplace. There are a few tell-tale signs however that may assist you.
In the past, heroin was primarily injected. This meant marks signifying needle use were one of the obvious indicators of heroin abuse. Nowadays users tend to snort or smoke heroin, making it much harder to recognise.
A heroin user cannot function while high on the drug and is even worse when coming down on it. This can exhibit as mood swings. A heroin addict can also be prone to nodding off, losing weight. Users tend to also develop dark circles under their eyes and a pale complexion.
While an employee may not use heroin at work, he or she will be prone to calling in sick and displaying unfocused behaviour on the job.
Drug testing for heroin might just save an employee’s life.
Drug Testing For Heroin – A Powerful Deterrent Against The Deadly Drug
Substance abuse can occur in any business for users are human beings who do what they can to cope with many things at once.
Your business will suffer in terms of productivity and incur losses with a heroin user in your workforce. In the event of an accident due to an employee high on or coming down on heroin, you are looking at workers’ compensation and potential lawsuits.
Just imagine what would happen to a company once one or more cases of heroin abuse become public knowledge.
These are solid reasons to establish a program that includes drug testing for heroin.
Drug testing for heroin will ultimately save your workers from the harm of heroin use, and save your business a lot of money.
Establish a Heroin-Free Workplace With A Comprehensive Drug Testing Program
A solid workplace drug and alcohol policy is the first step towards a comprehensive drug testing program. It that can help you prevent the hazards of heroin and other drug use in your company.
Creating a drug-free workplace isn’t just conducting a random drug testing or penalising employees who test positive for drug use.
We should look at substance use and abuse the same way we look at a health condition. It can be addressed and abuse can be stopped in its tracks. A heroin user is in dire need of help.
Get in touch with us today for a confidential discussion about drug testing for heroin and how we can help your organisation become safe from illicit drugs.