Heroin (diacetylmorphine or morphine diacetate (INN)), also known as diamorphine (BAN), is an opiate analgesic synthesized by C.R. Alder Wright in 1874 by adding two acetyl groups to the molecule morphine found in the opium poppy. It is the 3,6-diacetyl ester of morphine, and functions as a morphine prodrug (meaning that it is metabolically converted to morphine inside the body in order for it to work).
When used in medicine it is typically used to treat severe pain, such as that resulting from a heart attack or a severe injury. The name "heroin" is only used when being discussed in its illegal form. When it is used in a medical environment, it is referred to as Diamorphine. The white crystalline form considered "pure heroin" is usually the hydrochloride salt, diacetylmorphine hydrochloride.
Illegally supplied heroin however is more often in freebase form, dulling the sheen and consistency to a matte-white powder. Because of its lower boiling point, the freebase form of heroin is also smokable. It is prevalent in heroin coming from Afghanistan, which as of 2004 produced roughly 87% of the world supply in illicit raw opium. However, production in Mexico has risen six-fold from 2007 to 2011, changing that percentage and placing Mexico as the second largest opium producer in the world.
Mexican cartels are also known to produce a third type of illicit heroin, commonly called black tar, which results from a simplified, quicker synthesis procedure and contains a high percentage of morphine derivates other than heroin, such as 6-Monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM).
As with other opioids, diacetylmorphine is used as both an analgesic and a recreational drug. Frequent and regular administration is associated with tolerance and physical dependence. Internationally, diacetylmorphine 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 almost every country.
Under the chemical names diamorphine and diacetylmorphine, heroin is a legally prescribed controlled drug in the United Kingdom, and is supplied in tablet or injectable form for the same indications as morphine is, often being preferred over morphine due to its lower side-effect profile. It is also available for prescription to long-term users as a form of opioid replacement therapy in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark, alongside psycho-social care—in the same manner that methadone or buprenorphine are used in the United States or Canada—and a similar programme is being campaigned for by liberal political parties in Norway.
Other articles related to "heroin":
... In the 1990s, potent and inexpensive heroin became widely available in Portland heroin use in Multnomah County rose 600% during that decade ... According to police, in 2008, heroin became more plentiful in Oregon in response to a crackdown on methamphetamine ... In 2007, 115 heroin overdoses resulted in death, up 29% from 2006 ...
... as a reference to the phenomenon of heroin or morphine addiction and subsequent heroin addiction among Vietnam war veterans ... the conflict overseas." There is a single explicit reference to morphine but Prine alludes to heroin on several occasions including the use of the term "habit," slang commonly associated with heroin ...
... to Interpol, "Turkey is a major staging area and transportation route for heroin destined for European markets." The U.S ... Administration estimated the 1997 volume of the Turkish heroin traffic at 4–6 tons per month ... of the Susurluk gangs was the European leg of the heroin transportation route, which passes through Turkey ...
... He was dealing in heroin that made him one of the largest and wealthiest dealers in New York that included Gerlando Sciascia, Alphonse Indelicato, Cesare Bonventre and ... selling a range of drugs, from major shipments of marijuana, to heroin and cocaine ... His prime heroin supplier was Gerlando Sciascia ...
... Three months after that, he briefly relapsed on heroin ... to get clean and make amends with her kids before it's too late 7 ... "Joe" self-asphyxiation, heroin August 9, 2010 (2010-08-09) Though he grew up in a close-knit family, Joe has felt lonely and isolated all his ... In high school, Joe discovered drugs and alcohol he began using heroin at 18 and has been addicted for the past six years ...
Famous quotes containing the word heroin:
“Saigon was an addicted city, and we were the drug: the corruption of children, the mutilation of young men, the prostitution of women, the humiliation of the old, the division of the family, the division of the countryit had all been done in our name.... The French city ... had represented the opium stage of the addiction. With the Americans had begun the heroin phase.”
—James Fenton (b. 1949)
“Who lives longer: the man who takes heroin for two years and dies, or the man who lives on roast beef, water and potatoes till ninety-five? One passes his twenty-four months in eternity. All the years of the beef-eater are lived only in time.”
—Aldous Huxley (18941963)
“It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.”
—Shirley Chisholm (b. 1924)