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Heroin

Heroin is a natural opiate made from morphine (opiates dull pain). Morphine is extracted from the opium poppy. Like many drugs made from opium, including synthetic opioids (e.g. methadone) heroin is a very strong painkiller. ‘Street' heroin sold as ‘brown' is sometimes used by clubbers as a chill out after a big night out. Brown is still Heroin but some people mistakenly think it's not as addictive.

Slang: Street names for drugs can vary around the country. Brown, skag, H, horse, gear, smack.


The Risks

• Deaths from overdoses occur. But the risk increases after a period off the drug because the body's tolerance for the drug goes down.
• Overdoses can lead to coma and even death from respiratory failure (i.e. when breathing stops).
• If heroin is taken with other drugs, including alcohol, overdose is more likely. Other downers such as benzodiazepine tranquillisers are also associated with heroin overdose deaths.
• There's also a risk of death due to inhaling vomit as heroin stops the body's cough reflex working properly.
• Injecting heroin can do nasty damage to your veins and has been known to lead to gangrene (death and decay of body tissue, usually a digit or a limb) and tissue infections.
• The risk of sharing needles and other works to inject are well-known, putting you in danger of infections like hepatitis B or C and HIV/AIDS.

 

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