Heroin Addiction in Colorado

Heroin addiction in Colorado poses a growing threat to the state. The rate of heroin addiction in the state dropped a few years after 2003 but has increased again. Although there's a decrease in the number of users who inject the drug, the number of abusers who smoke heroin has increased and they are mostly new users. Most users mistakenly believe that smoking or snorting heroin can help them avoid the lethal properties of the drug.

Made from morphine, heroin is an addictive drug that belongs to the family of opiates. Many prescription drugs used for pain management belong to this drug family. Heroin looks like a powder which is usually white or brown in color. It can also be available as black substance which is referred to as black tar heroin.

In many cases, drug users combine heroin with other addictive substance. Sometimes users are not aware that the other substance they combine with heroin is poisonous, such as strychnine. Additionally, users are often not aware of the concentration of heroin that they combine with other substance which puts them at risk of overdose. Aside from the risk of addiction to heroin, the use of this drug may also result in blood-borne infections, poisoning, and a host of other medical problems.

After ingesting heroin, the user feels initial sensation of euphoria, numbness, dizziness, and nausea. Once the sensation wears off, the user feels tired with alternate periods of alertness. The use of heroin causes the user's breathing to slow down. When used in high amounts of concentration, heroin can cause suppression of breathing which can result in death. When injected, the additional risk of using heroin is exposure to diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

Tolerance can develop with regular use of heroin. To come up with the same level of euphoria, addicted users need more and more of this drug. Users who suddenly stop using heroin can experience a decline in tolerance to the drug. People who used the drug for many months but stop taking heroin for a short period of time will experience decrease in tolerance. When they decide to take heroin again in what seems to be the normal dose for them, they can die due to overdose on what appears to be their usual dose.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations are responsible for the heavy influx of most varieties of drugs in the state which caused the increase of heroin addiction in Colorado. The distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin is under the drug cartels' control. Mexican black tar heroin and brown powder heroin are commonly transported and distributed in Southern California, primarily Los Angeles. Almost all of the heroin drugs produced in Mexico are destined for distribution in the U.S. The black tar is destined for drug markets in California and distributed to other cities and even states including Colorado.

Heroin is not available in all areas of Colorado. The availability of this drug is largely limited to the suburban and metropolitan areas of the state. In some areas where heroin is available, the Mexican black tar variety is the most prevalent type. The brown powder variety is rarely available. The data released by the National Office of Control Policy suggests that the rate of heroin addiction in Colorado and the street use of opiate drugs doubled between 2000 and 2011.