OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heroin addiction: a young woman injecting herself with heroin. Heroin (diacetyl morphine) is an opiate narcotic analgesic drug. Its use induces stupor but leads to dependence and tolerance very quickly. Heroin is normally supplied as a white powder. This is melted and mixed with water before being injected. Prolonged use of heroin has a high risk of death. Tolerance leads to ever-higher doses being taken, often leading to fatal overdose, whilst the use and sharing of non- sterile needles can lead to infections such as hepatitis and AIDS. Withdrawal symptoms are severe in heroin users.
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