Heroin use

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Heroin use

Heroin Use

The ligand or signal mechanism is the heroin. When the heroin reaches the brain it is converted into morphine and then attaches to the opioid receptors found many places in the brain and body. These opioid receptors are crucial for pain and reward.

Heroin or morphine diacetate acts as a painkiller like morphine would. Two acetyl groups are added to morphine found in the opium poppy. Due to its low boiling point, it can be smoked or injected into the veins. It is used both in medical and recreational use. Recreational users say that it causes an intense rush of euphoria.

Endorphins flood the space between nerve cells and usually inhibit neurons from firing, thus creating an analgesic effect. On a lower level they can excite neurons as well. When endorphins do their work, the organism feels good, high, or euphoric, and feels relief from pain [analgesia]. Naturally, endorphin levels go up when a person exercises, goes into labor, or is stressed out.

The two types of receptors (G protein coupled receptors) used are the classical given the Greek letters "Delta" and "Beta", an dthe nonclassical "ORL1." Before the opioid receptor activation the Ca channels are open and the K channels are closed. When the morphine attaches this switches causing the K channels to open and the Ca channels to close.

Receptors and transduction pathway

The ligand and recptors

What is Heroin?Pain is reduced, causing sleepiness and pleasure

The focus on heroin is mostly on addiction treatment. The body soon becomes dependent on the drug causing withdrawl symtoms like fever, muscle spasms, nausea, and cramps. Eventually a user will die from an overdose, slowed down heart rate, and collapsed veins.

The heroin is a depressant, it slow downs the heart rate and depresses the circulatory system.

Current Research

Cellular and Organism Responses

CitationsThe Lundbeck Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cnsforum.com/imagebank/item/moa_heroin_mu/default.aspxYao, L., & McFarland, K. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/102/24/8746.fullLondon, E. (0). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/heroin/brain/


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