Solar Eclipse and Opioids

How Does a Heroin Overdose Kill?

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world, and thousands will die every year from a heroin overdose. Used for centuries for anything from a cough to pain relief, the potential for addiction and death was not fully realized until 1900. Heroin was made illegal in 1920, leaving millions of addicts desperate for opiate drugs.

Categorically, heroin is a central nervous system depressant, synthesized from the psychoactive chemicals in the opium poppy. Both opium and heroin can result in life-threatening central nervous system depression.

The Effects of Heroin: Addiction and Withdrawals

Snorted, smoked or injected, heroin reaches the brain through the bloodstream quickly. Once there, it binds to the opioid receptors, resulting in the relief of anxiety and pain. In effect, it gives the user a calm, euphoric sensation of escape from reality that can last for several hours.

Addiction occurs upon repeated use of the drug. The user’s brain has been, in essence, “hijacked” by heroin. It becomes dependent on the drug to feel good. In addition, it needs more and more of the drug to achieve the same results (tolerance).

When the user “comes down”, or stops using the drug, withdrawal symptoms occur. They are typically the opposite of what it feels like be high. Withdrawals are also a big incentive for people to keep using. Commonly, this is known as being “dope sick”.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Body aches and increased pain sensitivity
  • Runny nose, tears
  • Diarrhea, stomach pain, and spasms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia

Symptoms can begin without hours of the last dose and can last several days. While not fatal, symptoms are extremely unpleasant and can result in severe depression and suicidal feelings.

www.justbelieverecovery.com

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Fentanyl

Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication with a rapid onset and short duration of action. It is a potent agonist of μ-opioid receptors. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, but some fentanyl analogs, which are designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug, may be as much as 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities of live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy  is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect, transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

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The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral  role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of class room training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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About the Author
Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy, has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

2 comments on Solar Eclipse and Opioids

  1. Molly D. says:

    Yes, I do believe that dealers should be charged with felony murder. We must take this very seriously and do what we need to in order to get this opiod crisis under control. In our area, we are definitely seeing an increase in heroin related drug arrests. I don’t think that we have seen many related ODs yet but I am sure they are not far off.

  2. Marc Fogde says:

    Listening to these Pod Casts, makes me very thankful for the county that I work in. Our state mandates autopsy on a HUGE list of types of death (our county commissioners are mandated to pay for it so it does not hit our budget by the state law) . Washington State Patrol does toxicology tests for free. (our county tox’s EVERY death that our office takes jurisdiction over.) I was a bit shocked to hear that the “cost” of a tox screen was an issue.

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