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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Facts about Heroin


Heroin is produced from acetylation of morphine derived from natural opium sources. Numerous mechanical and chemical means are used to purify the final product. The final products have a different appearance depending on purity and have different names.

The opium poppy was cultivated in lower Mesopotamia as long ago as 3400 BCE.As of 1999, Myanmar (formerly Burma), the heartland of the Golden Triangle remained the second largest producer of diacetylmorphine, after Afghanistan.
The cultivation of opium in Afghanistan reached its peak in 1999, when 350 square miles (910 km2) of poppies were sown. The following year the Taliban banned poppy cultivation, a move which cut production by 94 percent. By 2001 only 30 square miles (78 km2) of land were in use for growing opium poppies. A year later, after American and British troops had removed the Taliban and installed the interim government, the land under cultivation leapt back to 285 square miles (740 km2), with Afghanistan supplanting Burma to become the world's largest opium producer once more.

Heroin, which is called diacetylmorphine In medical settings , has been used as a Cough suppressant and an Anti-diarrheal. It is a Powerful analgesic (pain killer). Its use includes treatment for acute pain, such as in severe physical trauma, myocardial infarction, post-surgical pain, and chronic pain, including end-stage cancer. It is widely used in palliative care in the UK as a means of symptom relief and pain management in patients with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, chronic heart failure, HIV/AIDS, and progressive neurological conditions. In other countries it is more common to use morphine or other strong opioids.

Diacetylmorphine is also used as a maintenance drug to treat addicts. Though this is somewhat controversial among proponents of a zero tolerance drug policy, it has proven superior to methadone.

heroin, with the popular street names: smack, skag, and junk, is used as a recreational drug for the transcendent relaxation and intense euphoria it induces. It produces more euphoria than other opioids upon injection, which may be part of the explanation to Its popularity with recreational drug users, compared to morphine. In particular, users report an intense rush, an acute transcendent state of euphoria. Tolerance quickly develops, and users need more of the drug to achieve the same effects, thus a first-time user may use between 5 and 20 mg, while an addict may require several hundred mg per day.

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. The higher the dosage and the faster the route of administration , the higher potential risk for psychological addiction.
Intravenous injection, also known as "slamming", "banging", "shooting up" or "mainlining", is the fastest route of drug administration causing blood concentrations to rise the most quickly and carries relatively greater risks. Injections will cause veins to collapse over time, through damage caused by the acid. As with the injection of any drug, if a group of users share a common needle without sterilization procedures, blood-borne diseases, such as HIV or hepatitis, can be transmitted. Many countries and local governments have begun funding programs that supply sterile needles to people who inject illegal drugs in an attempt to reduce these contingent risks and especially the contraction and spread of blood-borne diseases.

Injections are followed by smoking. glass pipes made from glassblown Pyrex tubes and light bulbs serve as a means for smoking heroin, as does aluminium foil, which is heated underneath by a flame. This method is also known as "chasing the dragon."

Next up is suppository (anal or vaginal insertion) of heroin. It is rarely discussed but it's known that Rectal administration of Diacetylmorphine is very efficient, the dose used is slightly larger than the dose used for IV. You get a rush from the drugs effects starting 40 seconds after administration, it can sometimes be as overwhelming as intravenous use. The rectum and the vaginal canal is where the majority of the drug would likely be taken up, through the membranes lining its walls.

Insufflation (snorting), is sometimes preferred by users who do not want to prepare and administer diacetylmorphine for injection or smoking, but still experience a fast onset with a rush.

ingestion, or Oral use of heroin is the least common of all methods of administration, mainly because there is little to no "rush", and the effects are less potent.

Sideeffects include: Miosis (pupil constriction), Nausea, protracted vomiting, constipation, decreased kidney function, urinary retention, dyspepsia (heartburn), itching, flushing/Rash, Drowsiness, disorientation, delirium, Somnolence, Muscle spasticity, Bradycardia (decreasing heart rate), hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure), and, shallow breathing.
Physical dependence can result from prolonged use of all opioids, resulting in withdrawal symptoms on cessation of use

Large doses of heroin can cause fatal respiratory depression, and the drug has been used for suicide or as a murder weapon. The serial killer Dr Harold Shipman used it on his victims, as did Dr John Bodkin Adams.

Because significant tolerance to respiratory depression develops quickly with continued use and is lost just as quickly during withdrawal, it is often difficult to determine whether a heroin lethal overdose was accidental, suicide or homicide. Examples include the overdose deaths of Sid Vicious, Janis Joplin, Tim Buckley, Layne Staley, Bradley Nowell, Ted Binion, and River Phoenix.

Conviction for trafficking diacetylmorphine carries the death penalty in most Southeast Asian, some East Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The penalty applies even to citizens of countries where the penalty is not in place.

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