Heroin is among the most potent or “hardest” drugs that an addict could use or take. It is a powerful opiate pain killer that produces euphoria and blissful passiveness. Long-term heroin addiction is also associated with difficult withdrawal symptoms and separation anxiety. Heroin is taken through injected doses, smoking, or by sniffing.
“Trainspotting” is a very interesting movie about the effects and dangers of heroin abuse. The 1996 movie based on a novel was directed by Danny Boyle and starred in by Ewan McGregor. The movie depicts the desperate lives of the heroin addicts who finance their drug habit through shoplifting and getting money from their parents. The movie also shows the “rollercoaster” life of heroin addicts who repeatedly swear to end their addiction only to find themselves again at the mercy of the local drug dealer.
Aside from the characters who are “hooked” on heroin, the film also shows the difficulties of other characters named Tommy and Begbie who do not take drugs but still lead troubled lives. Tommy is more fond of football and girls, while Begbie is a violent drunkard.
In one scene, the group of friends again engage in a heroin “session,” this time, with a female friend. As the group drift away from “reality” due to the psychotropic effects of the narcotic, they also lose all sense of responsibility for their actions. After the effects of the “hit” wear off, they were shocked to find the baby dead and rotting in her crib. The heroin addicts were so “out of touch” that they eventually neglected to feed and care for the baby. Naturally, the mother of the baby suffered from extreme separation anxiety and grief after losing the baby. The death of the baby was an eye-opener for the group of friends and made them consider quitting their addiction.
Renton, the character portrayed by Ewan McGregor, tried so hard to “get clean” and leave behind his friends and his heroin addiction. Unfortunately, he got an overdose during his self-proclaimed “one last hit” of heroin. After the overdose incident, he was forced by his parents to quit heroin, “cold turkey.” Renton was locked up at home and suffered severe withdrawal symptoms. He again experience separation anxiety since he was forcibly separated from this heroin-addicted gang. In numerous moments of hallucination, he was bothered by depressive thoughts, guilt, and shame. Specifically, he was very troubled by the death of the baby during one of their heroin sessions. As a means to start a new life, he reluctantly agreed to making a heroin transaction with his friends. The profits from the sale of the illegal narcotic was supposed to be split among them. Instead, Renton was able to run away with most of the money. His friends spiraled down back to their heroin addiction. The film ends by showing how Renton finally gave up his friends and his addiction by moving to London. In the city, he sought to find a new life far away from his petty thievery and heroin-dependent lifestyle. In London, he wanted to make a fresh start and take the opportunity to “choose life.”