Heroin is usually a mixture of diacetylmorphine, the active ingredient that produces the drug effects, and a variety of filler ingredients.
Heroin is usually a mixture of diacetylmorphine, the active ingredient that produces the drug effects, and a variety of filler ingredients. Some of these fillers are other opiates, and share some of the psychoactive effects of heroin, whereas others are simply powders that share the appearance of the form of heroin they are cut with. And in some cases, the add-ins are toxins that can cause deadly side effects.
Heroin, which comes from the sap of the opium poppy plant, is an addictive street drug made from morphine. It comes in many forms, colors, textures and cuts, and the most popular type of heroin can vary by region.
Heroin is typically sold as a white or brownish powder that is “cut” with sugars, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste that predominantly originates in South America and, to a lesser extent, from Southeast Asia, and dominates U.S. markets east of the Mississippi River.
Its a drug made from morphine, which is extracted from the opium poppy. Opium has been around for many hundreds of years and was originally used to treat pain, sleeplessness and diarrhoea. When morphine is made into this drugs to be used as a medicine, it’s called diamorphine, and is stronger than morphine or opium. Like many drugs made from opium (called opiates), it is a very strong painkiller. ‘Street’ heroin sold as ‘brown’ is sometimes now used by clubbers as a chill out drug after a big night out.
As people use this drugs over time, the pleasurable short-term effects become overshadowed by numerous unwanted side effects of the substance. Frequently, this occurs because the body adapts to this drugs in the system and takes action to counterbalance the effects. The side effects of heroin use include:
Nausea and vomiting.
Miotic or constricted pupils.
Lower than normal body temperature.
Slowed heart rate.
Cyanotic (bluish) hands, feet, lips, etc.
The risk of death from overdose is a concern for people using this drugs in the short or long term because dosing is impossible to measure due to difference in purity. Essentially, it’s never a safe time to use it–first time users overdose; veteran users overdose.
Many of the complications and side effects are compounded by using other substances with this drugs, especially others that depress the body like alcohol or sedatives. The combined effects can lead to dangerously slow breathing, lack of oxygen to the brain, heart problems, coma, and death.