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Heroin

In general

Heroin is a substance made from the liquid (latex) of the opium poppy plant. Morphine is derived from the raw material (dried latex). Morphine is a powerful narcotic and painkiller for medical use. It is chemically processed to produce heroin. Heroin has a bitter taste and has the form of a grainy, white, grey or brown powder. Street names: brown, horse, smack and dope. Heroin can be snorted, smoked (i.e. the Chinese way) or injected. The Chinese put heroin on a piece of aluminium foil and heat it. The vapours are inhaled through a tube. When injected, it is first mixed with water and an acid (e.g. ascorbic acid) on a spoon. Then it is heated and the dissolved heroin is drawn up into the syringe. After that it is directly injected into a vein. By the blood the heroin is transferred to the brain to produce a powerfully narcotic effect.

Physical effects

Slows the heart rate, breathing and body temperature, produces high pain threshold, narrows the pupils, drowsiness, sleepiness.

Psychological effects

Complete relaxation, muted emotions and anxieties, euphoria, warm and secure feeling, strong dependence.

Sex work

Heroin mutes feelings and emotions. The sexual performance decreases as heroin blocks the production of adrenaline in the body. It is harder to get an erection and orgasm. Your sex drive decreases as less testosterone is produced.

Combinations

Heroin is often used together with alcohol or cocaine. Taking it together with other depressants is extra dangerous. Opiates lower the breathing rate and that effect is enhanced by alcohol and other downers, such as benzos.

Short-term risks

Poor appetite, strong dependence and constipation. As it has a narcotic effect you risk unconsciousness and your breathing may stop (overdose). Users go pale and limp. Their breathing is shallow or non-existent. They may cough up white froth, they may vomit and sometimes they suffer an epileptic seizure.

Long-term risks

Heroin as a substance is not very harmful to the body. But the way of life which goes with it, is. Some heroin users have bad eating and sleeping habits or use contaminated needles, which enhances the risk of HIV and Hepatitis B and C. The body quickly gets used to heroin, so users need more and more of it to get to the desired euphoria. Withdrawal symptoms occur after two or three weeks’ daily use. A user who is ill as a result of having taken heroin, feels clammy and cold, transpires, has goose bumps, diarrhoea, stomach aches and muscle pains. These complaints disappear when he or she takes heroin again.

Safe(r) use

  • Always take a small dose of newly acquired heroin to check how strong the concentration is and to judge the effects.
  • Never take it when you are alone because of the risk of overdose.
  • Smoke heroin on extra thick aluminium foil, which you can buy at a specialist shop.
  • Always use clean needles and other attributes for a shot. In this way you prevent infectious diseases from spreading.
  • Have your heroin tested. For a free and anonymous test in your neighbourhood check: drugs-test.nl.


As you want to know the score and have peace of mind

Easy and fast HIV test, anonymous: Municipal Health Service Amsterdam temporarily offers HIV self-test service, check: www.time2test.nl. An easy-to-take test, without blood involved. Results after 20 minutes.


Quote

"Before I start working and using I always eat something. That way I have more energy and I can my focus."