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Heroin

  • By: Virginia L. Rothwell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Heroin (diacetylmorphine) also known as diamorphine, is an illegal and highly addictive drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin is usually a white or brown powder but can also be a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. Heroin is known on the street by such names as smack, thunder, hell dust, horse, jive, junk, shag, dope, big H, and nose drops. This article traces the history of heroin and its use; heroin production; methods of heroin use; the short-term and long-term effects of heroin on the user; the risks associated with heroin use; symptoms of withdrawal; treatment of heroin addiction; legislation that regulates heroin production, sale ...

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