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Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:17 PM

Please explain Heroin's allure to me.

Because I don't understand. I'm a 56 old white male. I smoked cannabis about half a dozen times about 30 years ago, and all it did was make me hungry and sleepy. So I gave it up. I have never used tobacco. The only alcohol I drink are frozen mixed drinks, and I can't remember the last time I had one. I don't like getting drunk or high because I do not like to be out of control of my senses. I even quit taking some OTC antihistamines because they make me high. So I do not understand the allure of something that has shown repeatedly to be so deadly to so many people. And why are so many creative people seemingly drawn to use Heroin?

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Arrow 66 replies Author Time Post
Reply Please explain Heroin's allure to me. (Original post)
MicaelS Feb 2014 OP
theHandpuppet Feb 2014 #1
Fumesucker Feb 2014 #2
MicaelS Feb 2014 #23
Lil Missy Feb 2014 #3
Logical Feb 2014 #6
Spider Jerusalem Feb 2014 #4
stevenleser Feb 2014 #11
MicaelS Feb 2014 #16
SMC22307 Feb 2014 #44
arely staircase Feb 2014 #57
LiberalEsto Feb 2014 #5
enough Feb 2014 #7
Skidmore Feb 2014 #22
Fumesucker Feb 2014 #29
Bobbie Jo Feb 2014 #45
zappaman Feb 2014 #8
SomethingFishy Feb 2014 #51
zappaman Feb 2014 #54
arely staircase Feb 2014 #59
stevenleser Feb 2014 #9
Bennyboy Feb 2014 #10
MicaelS Feb 2014 #13
Tikki Feb 2014 #17
MH1 Feb 2014 #19
Blue_In_AK Feb 2014 #47
Jesus Malverde Feb 2014 #12
justiceischeap Feb 2014 #14
hedgehog Feb 2014 #18
justiceischeap Feb 2014 #20
leftyohiolib Feb 2014 #31
Jesus Malverde Feb 2014 #33
KurtNYC Feb 2014 #15
Jesus Malverde Feb 2014 #34
deutsey Feb 2014 #21
unblock Feb 2014 #24
Hell Hath No Fury Feb 2014 #25
MicaelS Feb 2014 #26
Blue_Roses Feb 2014 #50
Name removed Feb 2014 #27
CrispyQ Feb 2014 #28
MicaelS Feb 2014 #38
bravenak Feb 2014 #30
hobbit709 Feb 2014 #32
Neoma Feb 2014 #35
Raffi Ella Feb 2014 #36
jakeXT Feb 2014 #49
Iggo Feb 2014 #37
loyalsister Feb 2014 #39
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2014 #40
Ligyron Feb 2014 #41
randome Feb 2014 #58
Ligyron Feb 2014 #66
marions ghost Feb 2014 #42
SecularMotion Feb 2014 #43
GeorgeGist Feb 2014 #46
Holly_Hobby Feb 2014 #48
Hell Hath No Fury Feb 2014 #53
Holly_Hobby Feb 2014 #62
cbdo2007 Feb 2014 #52
Rex Feb 2014 #55
arely staircase Feb 2014 #56
PeteSelman Feb 2014 #60
countryjake Feb 2014 #61
catbyte Feb 2014 #63
Warpy Feb 2014 #64
arcane1 Feb 2014 #65

Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:22 PM

1. I don't get it either

So you're not alone.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:26 PM

2. Do you do anything dangerous as a hobby, motorcycling or hang gliding for instance?

If not you probably aren't going to understand.

Why not accept that different people enjoy different things often for no apparent reason that makes sense for us?

A bunch of people enjoyed watching some kind of game last night I understand, I didn't share that particular enjoyment so I didn't partake of the experience.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:54 PM

23. I had a dangerous job when I was younger.

A job where people got killed on a regular basis several times a year somewhere in the US. I saw no reason to add to that risk with artificial ones. So I was a risk averse type person then and still am today.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:26 PM

3. It's an addiction, and you're not an addict. And,

it's not necessary that you *understand* it.

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Response to Lil Missy (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:30 PM

6. Nothing wrong with asking though. Lighten up! nt

 

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:29 PM

4. Opiates are euphoric.

It's hard to describe. It's a feeling of intense calm and well-being. You feel like you're floating in oil that's the same temperature as your body. And you drift in a vivid half-waking dream on the edge of consciousness. Anyone who's ever done heroin would probably tell you it's the best feeling ever.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:36 PM

11. The Opiate feeling does not appeal to me. I have had a prescription for Percocet since 1999

 

for my back issues. I have a severely herniated disc at C6-C7.

I have 2-4 attacks a year of pain. I only take the pills during the attacks and thus I only need a refill every 60 months or so. When I get a new doctor, they all are concerned that I want the prescription, then after seeing how little I use it they all become fine with it.

I hate the non-pain relieving effects of Percocet and when I have to take it for pain, I cannot wait to stop taking it. Same with Vicodin. The USAF gave me Vicodin for pain after they took out my wisdom teeth. Hated that too.

I've never taken heroin or other opiates so I cannot compare, but I hate Percocet and Vicodin, that I can tell you.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:43 PM

16. Thank you. n/t

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:29 PM

44. I haven't done heroin...

but I have done ecstasy a couple of times. Euphoria is exactly it.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:21 PM

57. absolutely

the most euphoric sensation ever.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:30 PM

5. Oblivion, as far as I can tell

 

People whose lives are hell crave the orgasmic rush and oblivion h. supposedly provides.

Even in my dope-crazed college years in the 60s and 70s, I knew better than to mess with h. because of its addictive potential and the way it turned its users into drug-craving zombies.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:30 PM

7. Off the top of my head, I would say that since you seem to be

almost entirely uninterested in any of the various substances that attract many people to use them for alteration of their brain/body chemistry, it would be hard to explain to you the allure of heroin or any of the other drugs.



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Response to enough (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:53 PM

22. It's hard for me to understand why a person cannot get enough

mental stimulation of the world we live in. I'm pretty much like the OP--a glass or two of wine about every 6 months is the extent to which I deal with altering my mental state. There is so much more in the universe that can inspire wonder or peace than a drug. I speak as the daughter of an alcoholic father and a sister of a couple of brothers who had serious substance abuse issues for many years. No amount of this type of poison poured into their bodies made the world more tolerable for them or made the problems of just living go away.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:06 PM

29. Maybe people are getting ~too much~ mental stimulation

Quite a lot of drugs make you care about things less, alcohol is one of them and we know how common it is.

I know someone who calls Xanax "I don't care pills".

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:36 PM

45. That's the thing with addiction

there's never enough.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:31 PM

8. Smoked it once.

It was so good I never did it again.
Imagine that your brain is on the softest pillow ever made.
And all of your problems, no matter how minor, have suddenly disappeared.
It's an awful drug because it is so good and so addictive.

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Response to zappaman (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:12 PM

51. +1 And the thing about it is, the first time is

the best, and addicts spend their lives trying to get that 1st time high again...

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #51)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:16 PM

54. Yes.

And that's why I never did it again!

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Response to zappaman (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:24 PM

59. that is how I did it the one and only time I did

We smoked it by putting it on foil and heating it from underneath while enhaling through a straw. Then we went to a Buddhist wedding. I too liked it so much I never did it again.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:31 PM

9. Addictions are destructive coping mechanisms.

 

They appeal to addicts because for the addict, dealing with the addicts real life issues seems so difficult and impossible that they choose the escape of the addiction.

Most addictions stimulate the dopamine producing centers of the brain which creates a feeling of pleasure and well-being. You can see that if your life is filled with serious and difficult to handle issues, retreating to a situation that artificially creates the feelings of pleasure well being can be appealing.

As someone else noted, you cannot completely understand it because you are not an addict, nor can I, but that is what I have found as I have researched the subject and that helps me understand it.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:34 PM

10. Well, I've spent my time around it, lost more than a few friends

 

but only did it once and snorted it then and that was the early 70's I don't dig downers. Never have so it did not interest me past a "Okay I get it, screw that" sense.

It takes over, completely, your everything. It is not intoxication, it is a soothing thing. Nothing bothers you. Described best with the word "cocoon". Many have described things that way, that you go in your cocoon, are safe from everything, and will be fine as long as you are high. Of course, all kinds of mental issues make an addict as well and being a celebrity the temptation never escapes you and it is so hard to get privacy that Heroin is the way to escape for celebrities.

Most junkies do not die from OD's, most heroin users are maintenance junkies, they function, go to work, drive around and do all the stuff you and I do, only they are on Heroin when they do it. They keep the dosage similar and know the limits.

The junkies i've known, have all died from not caring aobut themselves rather than the drugs themselves. they were all people who lived normal lives in the cocoon. They never advanced their brains past what they knew before the first time they shot up however. Of course some junkies (Jerry Garcia for example) are very productive and continue to expand their minds even while they are on junk. (Jerry died from a heart attack due to diabetes and other health issues, NOT HEROIN).

The problem here I think, is that with Heroin being a street drug, you are getting an unknown quality, quantity, cut, purity, origin etc instead of beinga ble to buy something that is precise in measurements. So guy, who is obviously a junkie and had been for a long time, slams his usual dose and it is not. It is much stronger and hits him so fast that he cannot even react as most junkies do when they OD.

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Response to Bennyboy (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:38 PM

13. Thank you for that.

Very informative.

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Response to Bennyboy (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:46 PM

17. Like returning to the womb...

Described that way to me by someone I knew who used…
He is DEAD now (age 42)….many die on the younger side of life.


Tikki

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Response to Bennyboy (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:47 PM

19. There is an extra-strong variety going around these days, according to a news story I heard.

I believe I must have heard it on NPR, but not sure. They interviewed someone who works for a needle exchange program who said they are including flyers warning about the new stuff going around, and how to recognize an overdose and call 911, in the kits they give out. Previously they interviewed an ER doc who said they are seeing MUCH higher rates of fatal overdoses due to this stuff.

As soon as I heard about Philip Hoffman's death from suspected overdose, I remembered this news story and wondered if that was the cause. Does not sound like an intentional suicide.

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Response to MH1 (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:47 PM

47. I wondered about that, too.

The new "heroin" is cut 50-50 with Fentanyl, a very powerful painkiller many times stronger than morphine. My first thought was that Mr. Hoffman might have gotten into some of that stuff.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:38 PM

12. Heroin is the best feeling in the world.

Interrupted by nausea, stomach cramps, cold sweats, bugs crawling under your skin, and a million other discomforts.

When you are in that state, nothing is better than getting "well"...

Was reading the history of heroin and I did not realize the word was a marketing term developed by bayer hence HEROin

Interesting fact the same guy who invented aspirin invented heroin.

http://opioids.com/heroin/heroinhistory.html

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:40 PM

14. For people without addictive personalities, the allure of heroin doesn't make sense

The best way I can maybe make it make sense to someone who doesn't have an addictive personality is this:

Imagine masturbating and the first time you do it, you have the best orgasm ever. Then you keep masturbating but from there on in, it's never quite as good as that first time. So you try masturbating different ways, until finally you get to auto-erotic asphyxiation... that brings back that initial rush but it's a dangerous practice and eventually you're going to go too far and die. That's what I'd liken heroin addiction to based on how it was described to me by a family member.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:46 PM

18. That is an interesting metaphor - I've always wondered

why anyone would take that first hit, but your description brings to mind all the teenagers so curious about sex they take enormous risks for what is often not very good sex.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:49 PM

20. A lot of people that get mixed up in heroin use

(from what I understand) have troubled pasts to begin with and they'll try anything not to think about those problems. That's what my family member was trying to do and her addiction to heroin actually made her life worse than the shit that happened to her that caused her to seek out drugs in the first place. For her, marijuana was definitely a gateway drug. That's why when people poo-poo the idea that marijuana isn't a gateway drug, it pisses me off. It may not be for the majority of the public but for some, you may as well stick a loaded gun in their mouths because it's going to lead to other things.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:08 PM

31. to an addictive person any drug would be a gateway that's why it irritates me when people say

 

it's a gateway drug, it was for her b/c she started there. the most common gateway drug is alcohol but to an addict any drug they take will be a gateway.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:10 PM

33. Seems a fair analogy...nt

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:42 PM

15. If it made sense they wouldn't call it "addiction"

They might call it a hobby, or a pastime. It is any ACTVITY which is done compulsively -- sex, texting, gambling, rage, booze, etc.

Hollywood is saturated with drugs. Celebs are an easy target for pushers because they have money and lots of free time. On top of that, fans have a hard time distinguishing the real person from the characters they play so it is easy for an actor to get lost among those who want their money and those who want to them to be someone they aren't or just refuse to accept that they are a real person and not a commodity for one's personal fantasy of life.

Fittingly, Hoffman's character talks about the trap of the bubble of celebrity in this scene from "Almost Famous"

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:11 PM

34. I think the one I have a real hard time getting is Gambling..

I mean "gaming"...what draws the people to stare at the screen pushing buttons like rats in an experiment.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:51 PM

21. In his song "Heroin," Lou Reed said it made him feel "just like Jesus's son"

"Heroin"


I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I'll tell ya, things aren't quite the same
When I'm rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus' son
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I have made the big decision
I'm gonna try to nullify my life
'Cause when the blood begins to flow
When it shoots up the dropper's neck
When I'm closing in on death
And you can't help me now, you guys
And all you sweet girls with all your sweet talk
You can all go take a walk
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that I'd sail the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
In a sailor's suit and cap
Away from the big city
Where a man can not be free
Of all of the evils of this town
And of himself, and those around
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know

Heroin, be the death of me
Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life
Because a mainer to my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then I'm better off and dead
Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don't care anymore
About all the Jim-Jim's in this town
And all the politicians makin' crazy sounds
And everybody puttin' everybody else down
And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

'Cause when the smack begins to flow
Then I really don't care anymore
Ah, when the heroin is in my blood
And that blood is in my head
Then thank God that I'm as good as dead
Then thank your God that I'm not aware
And thank God that I just don't care
And I guess I just don't know
And I guess I just don't know

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:55 PM

24. to my mind, tobacco makes far less sense, yet see how common that is.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 01:55 PM

25. It eases the pain.

 

The pain that is life, the pain that is the gnawing ache in your heart, the pain that that is the angst of your psyche.

Creative people have always been attracted to drugs -- and heroin in particular -- because the same part of the brain that births creative sensitivity also births depression and drugs are a form of self-medication, and because when you drill down into the deep/dark places for your creative process you can expose/create a painful wound that can become unbearable.

Hoffman went DEEP and DARK for almost all his best roles. Heroin didn't kill him -- that was just the vehicle -- his emotional pain did.

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:01 PM

26. Thank you. n/t

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:07 PM

50. well said. (nt)

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)


Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:04 PM

28. Your brain has an opiate receptor.

http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_03/i_03_m/i_03_m_par/i_03_m_par_heroine.html

Opiates (heroin, morphine, etc.)

The human body naturally produces its own opiate-like substances and uses them as neurotransmitters. These substances include endorphins, enkephalins, and dynorphin, often collectively known as endogenous opioids. Endogenous opioids modulate our reactions to painful stimuli. They also regulate vital functions such as hunger and thirst and are involved in mood control, immune response, and other processes.

The reason that opiates such as heroin and morphine affect us so powerfully is that these exogenous substances bind to the same receptors as our endogenous opioids. There are three kinds of receptors widely distributed throughout the brain: mu, delta, and kappa receptors.

These receptors, through second messengers, influence the likelihood that ion channels will open, which in certain cases reduces the excitability of neurons. This reduced excitability is the likely source of the euphoric effect of opiates and appears to be mediated by the mu and delta receptors.

This euphoric effect also appears to involve another mechanism in which the GABA-inhibitory interneurons of the ventral tegmental area come into play. By attaching to their mu receptors, exogenous opioids reduce the amount of GABA released (see animation). Normally, GABA reduces the amount of dopamine released in the nucleus accumbens. By inhibiting this inhibitor, the opiates ultimately increase the amount of dopamine produced and the amount of pleasure felt.

~more at link & an illustration, too


Pretty fascinating.


Response #8 knows.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:18 PM

38. Thank you. n/t

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:08 PM

30. I have no clue.

 

I'm opiate sensitive though, if I take a Percocet I'll be puking all night. Hope I never have pain management issues.

I had a friend ( died last month, Xanax od) who said it was euphoric, the best feeling in the world.
I feel the same way about swimming, I forget my problems and just glide through the water. I imagine it feels like that. But how would I know?

Once you get good and hooked, you need it just to keep yourself from puking and pooping all over the place.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:09 PM

32. For some people it blocks the mental pain of life.

As we used to say at the Crisis Center I used to work at in the 70s "Heroin is the most effective pain reliever you can buy without a prescription"

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:11 PM

35. A lot of drug use is self-medicating when your mental health has made a downturn.

Denial that something is wrong because you don't want to be counted as, "nuts." You'll try just about everything in the sun to bite away feeling miserable in the meantime.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:12 PM

36. I've never done heroin but I have smoked crack.

I smoked a lot of weed, done ecstasy, dropped acid, I loved the feeling of all those highs. Put them together with some great music and it was pure bliss.

But one night at a party a guy was smoking crack. I had never done it before and was intrigued. He told me he'd just blow some of the smoke from his inhale into my mouth and see if I liked that instead of taking a a real hit?

So he blew it into my mouth and the next thing I knew this beautiful soft gorgeous rain of warm euphoria slowly trickled down from my head down my body. I leaned back on the couch and let it pour over me. it was transcendent, amazing, heaven. It only lasted a few minutes.

Honest to god, I swore to myself right then and there I would never ever again in my life touch the stuff; I knew in that moment I would never be able to get enough.

It scared the ever loving hell out of me. I can only imagine that heroin is sort of like that.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:18 PM

37. Do some and you'll see.

Or don't, and just be happy you never did.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:19 PM

39. Escapism?

When television, books, exercise, work... are not effective ways to escape the ugliness of life, drugs are a common vehicle. We are not living in happy times. And life can be difficult and messy even for the most successful\privileged. Nothingness and euphoria are descriptions I have heard.

Some people think creative people feel it more. I don't buy it. It just happens that famous people can afford the drug without it destroying their lives financially, socially, personally as quickly as happens for others.

For someone who is desperate to temporarily vacate their lives, they will choose the vehicle that works best for them. Just like any other kind of drug resistance, a person may discover that heroin works best by process of elimination.

Not only that, opiates are some of the most effective pain killers for acute, temporary pain relief.
For someone who has used them following an injury and discovered emotional relief in addition to physical, legal opiate addiction may be an eventual probability. When legal pharmaceuticals become less available or a tolerance makes them less useful, it seems that heroin would be an alternative based on availability.

Basically, it is highly effective for a physical\emotional goal that we all have. Some people require, what seems to others, an unrelatable drastic measure. Addiction is a severely damaging, unfortunate side effect.


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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:19 PM

40. My sis was a heroin addict

She said it was the best feeling ever.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:24 PM

41. I'm addicted to opiates.

Have been off and on for most of my adult life.

I function just fine and do all the same things you do. Drive cars, operate machinery, value family and friends, feel and express Love, create Art, care about and help people when I can. Even post on DU occasionally.

No, it doesn't interfere negatively with my health in any way.

Most of the bad physical effects described above are temporary side effects and most of the problems with addiction stem directly from the fact that they are illegal.

Do I recommend people take them?

No. Not if they don't need to and one can certainly avoid trying them "just for the fun of ".

But they are hardly the boogie man they're portrayed to be by the PTB and those with a financial stake in the status quo.



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Response to Ligyron (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:22 PM

58. If you're 'addicted', how can you say it has no negative impact on you?

 

How do you obtain your fix? How do you feel when you don't get it?
[hr][font color="blue"][center]"If you're bored then you're boring." -Harvey Danger[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to randome (Reply #58)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 06:27 PM

66. Good questions!

I'm physically dependent, (i.e. "addicted" to opiates. I've found opiates to be the least damaging of the available drugs. Weed is harmless but I don't care for it. Don't drink - bad for liver and dangerous.

"Fix" is a loaded term. I obtain opiate through perfectly legal means and it costs like $2-3.00 a day. I can afford that.

I never "don't get it" but were I to stop, yeah I'd suffer withdrawal symptoms. Too old and in too much physical pain otherwise to stop now.

Thanks for asking!

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:25 PM

42. Some theories on creativity and addiction:

Addiction as avoidance

In his richly stimulating article on the philosophy of addiction Unhooked Thinking, William Pryor notes, “I was once a heroin addict. I am now a writer, film producer and entrepreneur, fascinated by the very nature of addiction.”

He thinks the “endemic something in the human condition that leads so many to become addicts.. has been called weltschmertz, world-weariness, melancholy and in India, bireh or longing. It is the pain of being human, no more, no less, the pain of having the chaotic self-awareness of human consciousness chained by its attachments to the mundane.”

William Pryor is Director of Unhooked Thinking, and author of the book Survival of the Coolest: A Darwin’s Death Defying Journey into the Interior of Addiction.

Addiction psychologist Marc F. Kern, Ph.D., notes that altering one’s state of consciousness is normal and that a destructive habit or addiction is “mostly an unconscious strategy – which you started to develop at a naive, much earlier stage of life – to enjoy the feelings it brought on or to help cope with uncomfortable emotions or feelings. It is simply an adaptation that has gone awry.”

- See more at: http://developingmultipletalents.com/211/addiction-and-creative-people/#sthash.xYR1l7wG.dpuf
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Is there a link between creativity and addiction?

No. I think the link is not between creativity and addiction per se. There is a link between addiction and things which are a prerequisite for creativity…. We know that 40 percent of a predisposition to addiction is genetically determined, via studies on heritability in families and twins. There's no single addiction gene. We don't even know all the genes involved in conferring addiction risk. But the ones we do know have to do with the signaling of the neurotransmitter dopamine for pleasure and reward.

You don't become addicted because you feel pleasure strongly. On the contrary, addicts seem to want it more but like it less. They feel pleasures more weakly and are more likely to try more to achieve more. This blunted dopamine hypothesis is supported by brain-imaging studies and biochemistry tests in rats and monkeys. It also holds for addictions to food, sex and gambling.

Genetic variants make for a low-functioning dopamine system, specifically D2 receptors. If you carry those variants, you are more likely to be more risk-taking, novelty-seeking and compulsive. None of which are explicitly creative, but they are things that get to creativity. So novelty-seeking might be a spur to creativity. Risk-taking might lead you to go more out on a limb. If you're compulsive, you might be more motivated to get your art, science idea or novel out into the world. These traits that come from having low dopamine function have an upside. These traits can contribute to people having great success in the world, like business leaders.

Genetics is 40 percent, it's not 100 percent—it's not the whole show. It's possible to carry the variants and not be an addict, and it's possible to not carry the variants and still be an addict.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-a-link-between-creativity-and-addiction/

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:26 PM

43. It's alot like guns

 

Addicted To Bang: The Neuroscience of the Gun

In the wake of recent tragic events, there have been a raft of articles about new reasons for gun-control and the psychological make-up of mass murderers (See NYT or WSJ), but the authors of this piece (co-authored with neuroscientist James Olds) believe there’s a critical component missing from this discussion: the very addictive nature of firearms.

There are a number of different ways to think about this issue, but a decent place to start is Steven Pinker. In The Better Angels of Our Nature, Pinker makes the data-driven argument that violence has been decreasing steadily since the Middle Ages and, across the boards, is now at its lowest point in history. But this isn’t the case with gun violence.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenkotler/2012/12/18/addicted-to-bang-the-neuroscience-of-the-gun/

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 02:45 PM

46. Not everyone is like you.

Many folks enjoy getting high.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 03:18 PM

48. I haven't done it, however, I had Demerol after a surgery and

wow. I've had other surgeries after that and tell the surgeon to please NOT prescribe Demerol. It's that good.

I'm more smoke a joint and have a glass of wine once in a while. No. Demerol.

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Reply #48)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:13 PM

53. I had surgery to remove -

 

a large lipoma on my hip. I'm not sure whatever the hell they used to put me under, but when I woke up in the recovery room I felt absolutely amazing. I was making happy, yummy sounds and had a HUGE grin on my face. I slowly opened my eyes a bit and found a trio of nurses at the foot of my bed laughing at me (in a good way). One of them asked me if I was OK -- I remember telling her I was just enjoying a really good buzz (this from some one who doesn't drink or do drugs).

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #53)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 06:12 PM

62. Surgical pain meds work well, don't they? :) n/t

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:13 PM

52. better than sex that lasts for hours

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:20 PM

55. To understand the Purple Dragon, you must first start chasing it.

 

Then you must realize no matter how hard you try, you can never catch the dragon. You keep trying because you are hopelessly addicted. Finally one day, out of the blue, you catch the dragon by the tail and it turns around and kills you!

THAT is heroin, there is no allure to it at all.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:20 PM

56. ever taken any kind of opiod?

Because it is the king hell daddy of all those. I tried it once and have no problem seeing how people become addicted to it.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:28 PM

60. Because it feels fucking awesome.

That's the original lure. Then, sadly, you become addicted to it and you have to do it simply to avoid getting dopesick and feel normal. And everyone swears they can handle it and no one really can because unlike other drugs, opiates are actually physically addicting.

If you can manage to only do it recreationally, it's quite good. It's just way too dangerous to attempt that.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 05:55 PM

61. My SO was a functioning Heroin junkie for thirty yrs...

Me, being a hopeless "normie" when I met him, couldn't understand why he'd spent all of that time indulging in what I've always considered a suicidal habit. His simplest answer to me and probably the best explanation is found in this video:

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 06:14 PM

63. I don't know. I have been on some pretty heavy duty Schedule II pain meds to

combat some serious nerve damage down my right sciatic nerve (8 shingles outbreaks since 1998 that keep damaging the same nerve). I got a little stoned the first couple of weeks as I was adjusting to the meds, but all they've done since my body adjusted to the meds is allow me to work full time instead of spending my life on the couch, curled up in the fetal position & sobbing. I believe that if I didn't take the two meds I take now I would've committed suicide years ago. Nerve pain is a special brand of torture. I never get high--the pain sucks up the drugs or something. Frauds like Rush Limbaugh & those of his ilk make life difficult for those of us with legitimate pain issues to get the treatment we need.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 06:14 PM

64. I tried it in the 60s, thought it was a whole lot of nothing

It helped the pain that was as yet undiagnosed, made me really sleepy, and made me barf. It was not my idea of a good time, at all.

Yet I saw a couple of people fall in love with it the first time they tried it, saying they felt waves of pure bliss washing over them. I didn't get that. My cousins who tried it didn't get that, either. I've been left with the notion that you have to have the right kind of brain chemistry to appreciate the stuff and I don't.

And even those who do appreciate opiates generally don't want anything to do with them after the first three days, a phenomenon I observed that happened pretty consistently with postop patients. After 3 days, they'll accept the pain because they just want their brains back to normal.

As for why performers use it, Johnny Cash explained it as having to feel great at 8 PM when he took the stage. Having a bad night was just not possible for a performer. Non performing artists get high on a variety of different substances and heroin is not as prevalent.

So those are my anecdotes and I'm sticking with them.

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Response to MicaelS (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 06:18 PM

65. I can easily understand why people *continue* to use heroin.

 

What I find baffling is why anyone would try it in the first place.

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