The first substance to take through our matrix is Heroin.

Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants

Heroin is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

What system does it impact?  As it enters the brain, heroin binds to the opioid receptors. If you remember from previous blogs, these receptors are involved in the perception of pain and in reward. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem, which controls automatic processes critical for life, such as blood pressure, arousal, and respiration.

One of the most significant effects of heroin use is addiction. With regular heroin use, tolerance to the drug develops. Once this happens, the abuser must use more heroin to achieve the same intensity. As higher doses of the drug are used over time, physical dependence and addiction to the drug develop.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).  (NIDA is a United States federal-government research institute and which we will reference many times as their findings are based on empirical, non-biased data).

It is estimated that about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.

Does ingesting Heroin cause an altered state?  –  Yes

Does that state cause impairment in the average person?  Yes.  After the initial effects, users usually will be drowsy for several hours and mental function is clouded.

What functions are specifically impaired?  Attention and concentration, and perceptual-motor coordination is affected.

What are the activities affected by this type of impairment?  Operating or interacting with any equipment that requires concentration and coordination.  Any activity that requires concentration for accuracy.

Does an impairment in performing that specific activity cause harm to oneself or others?  Yes, if interacting or operating with equipment.