This by far has been the most extensive research experience I have been apart of in my academic existence. And looking back it really hasn’t been that bad. However, don’t take me the wrong way I have most definitely had my struggles. Early into the research process I quickly began to experience hardships.
After finding an article on Cracked, I was actually very enthusiastic to further dive into the research of the myth that natural drugs are not necessarily better for you than synthetic drugs. After a few days of researching I quickly realized that surprisingly there were not many academic articles that compared natural and synthetic drugs. So then I decided to just research the effects of natural drugs on the body. I found a little more information but still nothing that was going to provide me with enough information to write a whole paper on. By this point I was pretty much ready to pull my hair out.
But suddenly I remembered that I am in college and when it comes to writing I don’t have a teacher hounding me on little specific details that don’t seem relative the paper I am trying to write. This is when i decided to change my topic around. I decided to change my topic to the effects of Heroin. One of heroin’s most harmful substance is a called opium which is actually naturally found in the poopy seed. This was interesting to me because obviously heroin is altered by humans but one of the most lethal substances in the drug comes from a natural plant. This opened up a whole new world of research.
My lightbulb had been switched on and suddenly i was provided with more information than i knew what to do with. I found all sorts of articles from Jstor that talked about economic issues, child birth complications, drug related crime, and all other sorts of things linked with the use of heroin. After finding all of these great articles on scholarly sources my mind was never tempted to google, or peek at any random sight that i found on the internet relating to my topic. The main thing that i have learned through the process of research this year is that you are not always going to find exactly what you are looking for right away, but with persistence and tweeking, not twerking, you can really have a lot of fun and find great things to work with.
The research process through the duration of this class has been an interesting one to say the least. At the beginning of my research I was trying to find articles that support the cracked article that stated that natural drugs were not necessarily more harmful than synthetic drugs. After further research with scholarly articles, I found that I should expand my research. I decided to limit my research to the effects of heroin. The most interesting article I found was an article that specified the physical effects of heroin addiction. ( http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3469849?searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Deffects%2Bof%2Bheroin%26amp%3Bacc%3Doff%26amp%3Bwc%3Don%26amp%3Bfc%3Doff&resultItemClick=true&Search=yes&searchText=effects&searchText=of&searchText=heroin&uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21103758570007)
Pillaria. G. Dec, 1973.
This article specifies not only the physical aspects but the social and ethical aspects of heroin use.
Aside from the research I am quite frustrated with wordpress tonight. I just posted and my post was blank… but hey you gotta love technology. I could be typing on a typewriter. When I first began my research I tried to be very specific. I tried to base my research the effects of natural drugs on the body, however my research was road blocked. As I began to research in depth I could not find ANYTHING that was really related to the effects of natural drugs on the body compared to synthetic substances. Therefor I decided to confine my research strictly to the effects of heroin. I felt that I wasn’t totally disregarding the presence of my argument in terms of the effects of natural drugs because opium is a natural substance that is highly lethal which is found in heroin. I have found more information than I even know what to do with which is a much better problem than dealing with lack of information. I used to get frustrated with the library databases but I have come to really enjoying my results and am excited to include my research in my final product.
One of the more interesting articles I have found through my research is the article that relates specifically to effects on the body when using heroin which contains opiate. The article focuses on 5 main health related issues that occur with Opiate use. It contains information on the effects on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal axis, metabolic deficiency’s, growth hormone, Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis, and bone disease. In hindsight, the article states that “Opiate usage may have multiple effects on the endocrine and metabolic function.”
(Odelia B. Cooper, Opiate Drug Use, Oxford University 2003)
The search continues….
As I dig deeper into my research I am finding some good information. Unfortunately a lot of the articles and text evidence I have found are a bit dull. If this continues I will just have to spice up my points and make them engaging.
I found an article on JSTOR that discusses the recovery process after a previous heroin addict has relapsed. This article is interesting but could be dull to some readers given its heavy scientific content. As I continue my research it has dawned on me that the process between high school research and college research are two totally different things. In high school you can easily get an A by throwing a few articles together that you randomly found on google. In high school most professors wont give you the time of day if your articles aren’t academically supported.
Throughout High School finding a source used to be too easy. If I had a paper and had to find a source the teacher literally accepted anything besides sources from Wikipedia. Now as professors look for more academically supportive articles it has been much more difficult to find articles to use. The downside of this is the fact that you cant just type anything into google and expect to get away with using it as your source. The upside to having to find academic articles is that the sources that you actually do find are very good sources and can really help back up any claims found to support your argument. I found many sources but very few that directly related to my subject when searching using academic articles. Most of the ones I found were dull or not specifically what I was looking for. However I did find a few articles from jstor and google scholar.
In my last few posts I talked a lot about the argument that the author of my cracked article made which was the fact that just because a drug is considered a natural drug it does not deem it safer than synthetic drugs. With that I touched a lot on the fact that opium (a naturally formed substance) is found in HIGH amounts of Heroin. Unfortunately through my research I wasn’t able to find too much more on the effects in comparison of natural to synthetic drug use. Therefor I’ve decided to narrow my research to the effects that heroin has on the body and mind. The author for the article I have chosen first is Jen Christensen, a writer for CNN. She starts of by introducing how the drug works in the body. She then specifically jumps to the causes of death and what exactly happens to the body when one dies from heroin use. She references Doctor Karen Drexler, who explains that “Heroin makes someone calm and a little bit sleepy, but if you take too much then you can fall asleep, and when you are asleep your respiratory drive shuts down”. This can lead to the body forgetting to breathe altogether. The author of my article also states that overdosing on heroin drops your blood pressure significantly which can lead to the failing of your heart. The author provides hyper links in her article to support all of her claims.
Here is the article http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/04/health/how-heroin-kills/
When discussing the affects that natural drugs have on the body my author includes this article which analyses the affects and usages of opium (http://www.drugs.com/opium.html). The article is more of a fact based article which poses no positions or opinions throughout the text. However, this article is useful because it provides me with real knowledge of the harm that natural drug use can cause. The author of this specific article is L. Anderson (Pharmaceutical Doctor)
The article links opium with heroin. Heroin contains high amounts of opium which are responsible for the high addiction and the negative effects that can harm mental and motor functioning.
I posted this picture in my last blog but will explain it in more detail here
Drugs on the lower left are safer and drugs on the upper right are more harmful. The author of the cracked article I used points out the fact that marijuana, possibly the most infamous natural drug, is on almost the same lethal scale as LSD and also has a higher dependency rate. Hmmmm… Interesting. This photo and information can be found (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Drug_danger_and_dependence.png)