Heroin

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Heroin, or diacetylmorphine, also known as diamorphine, is a semi-synthetic opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy. As with other opioids, heroin is used as both an analgesic and a recreational drug. Frequent and regular administration is associated with tolerance and physical dependence, which may develop into addiction. Internationally, heroin is controlled under Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, or sell diacetylmorphine without a license in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iran, India, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and Swaziland. Under the name diamorphine, it is a legally prescribed controlled drug in the United Kingdom. It is available for prescription to long-term users in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark alongside psycho-social care, and a similar program is being campaigned for by liberal political parties in Norway. Some countries allow the government to sell or donate high-quality seizures of drugs and precursors which are otherwise legal for medicinal use to pharmaceutical manufacturers for use in preparing licit supplies of medical drugs and research chemicals; this was the case in Croatia prior to 2007. The onset of diacetylmorphine's effects depends upon the route of administration. Studies have shown that the subjective pleasure of drug use (the reinforcing component of addiction) is proportional to the rate at which the blood level of the drug increases. Intravenous injection provides the fastest and most intense rush within seven to eight seconds. Intra-muscular injection produces a relatively slow onset of five to eight minutes. Snorting or smoking reaches peak effects within 10 to 15 minutes. If taken orally, the effects take approximately half an hour to set in, with an absence of a rush. Large doses of heroin can cause fatal respiratory depression, and the drug has been used for suicide or as a murder weapon. The withdrawal syndrome from heroin (the so-called cold turkey) may begin within 6 to 24 hours of discontinuation of the drug; however, this time frame can fluctuate with the degree of tolerance as well as the amount of the last consumed dose. Symptoms may include: sweating, malaise, anxiety, depression, priapism, extra sensitivity of the genitals in females, general feeling of heaviness, cramp-like pains in the limbs, excessive yawning or sneezing, tears, rhinorrhea, sleep difficulties (insomnia), cold sweats, chills, severe muscle and bone aches; nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and fever. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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