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Mothers in South Florida OD on Heroin with babies in back seat

Kristen Leigh O’Connor, age 27, June Ann Schweinhart, age 28, overdosed on heroin while in an SUV in a parking garage in Boynton Beach, Florida. The two women’s babies, ages one and two months old, were in the back seat of the vehicle at the time. A passerby called 911 from Schweinhart's phone, when O’Conner overdosed. Both women survived, and were charged with child neglect. The babies were placed in the custody of family members.

Heroin is an opiate. Opiates are drugs derived from opium poppies, and are designed to produce analgesia and euphoria. This means that they can relieve intense pain from trauma, or chronic medical conditions. They are not just like ibuprofen or aspirin x100. They not only relieve pain, but produce a sleepy, dreamy, peaceful, warm feeling, which removes ones emotional distress associated with the pain or injury. This euphoria is widely sought by opiate addicts. Heroin is a particularly strong opiate. It is typically injected directly into a vein, or snorted into the nostrils. It is highly addictive, in that it will rapidly place the user between the proverbial rock and the hard place: it will offer a counterfeit, synthetic chemical pleasure, when you have it, which will fade over time as your body adapts to the heroin. You will need higher and higher doses to get the same effect. Eventually it will more or less stop working, but you will still need it. When you don’t use it, after about 12 hours, you will begin withdrawing. You will feel like you have the worst stomach flu imaginable, only many times worse. But there is a way you will be able to obtain relief from the nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, aching, cramping muscles, a splitting headache, and delirium in seconds. Use more Heroin. Your sickness will fade away before the plunger of the needle is even all the way down. This is the hell heroin addicts put themselves in. Heroin addicts will do anything to keep seeking the high, and avoid the sickness. They will even give up their own children. Once in the grip of heroin, without extremely aggressive treatment, people will engage in desperate acts contrary to any previously held moral values or standard of behavior. 

None of these is an excuse. Heroin addicts act selfishly, and put those closest to them, through immeasurable pain.  It is not recommend ever going down this road and trying heroin in the first place. Many young people are using it out of curiosity, ignorance of its effects, and gross overestimation of their ability to handle it. If you are using, you must seek professional assistance immediately. It will not get better, and it will cause terrible suffering in your own life and those closest to you. 

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