Heroin

The Other Heroin

Maybe it’s first prescribed to you for a bad back. Or maybe your friend had wisdom tooth surgery and had a couple pills left over, giving you one to help you relax. At first, you’re fine with just a pill or two, taking them occasionally on the weekend to celebrate or to help you unwind. Then it becomes a regular thing in the evening after work – just like a glass of wine, right?

But then one isn’t quite doing it for you, you’re starting to lose that blissful initial buzz as your tolerance starts to kick in. So you up it to two. Just two, that’s not bad, right? And then someone tells you – you’re not sure who, or maybe you read it on the internet – that if you crush them up and snort them you can get that quick burst back like you used to have.

Beating the poppy seed defense

During my PhD, one of the research projects I was involved in was a relapse prevention study testing individuals who had previously been addicted to alcohol, cocaine or heroin, but were no longer using any drugs.

One participant who took part in the study — I’ll call him Dave — was a young guy who was dependent on alcohol, but swore up and down he had never abused any drugs. Dave was three weeks into the study and doing well, staying abstinent and remaining cheerful and cooperative throughout the sessions. However, one morning when Dave came in and went through his usual drug screen, he tested positive for heroin, something he claimed (and I believed) he had never taken.