Heroin, molecular model

Heroin, molecular model

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Credit: Kallista Images/Custom Medical Stock Photo/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heroin. Computer model of a molecule of heroin (diacetylmorphine), a synthetic narcotic analgesic derived from morphine. Carbon atoms are coloured turquoise, hydrogen white, nitrogen dark blue and oxygen red. Heroin is a powerful narcotic (stupor inducing) and analgesic (painkiller). Its use in medicine is restricted because it is highly addictive after only a short period of use. Heroin is abused as a recreational drug. The body develops tolerance to the drug quickly and larger doses are needed to achieve the same effect.

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