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Close-up of white, heroin pile. Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy. It is a downer or depressant that affects the brain's pleasure systems and interferes with the brain's ability to perceive pain. Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste. Street heroin comes in granule, powder, solution or pill forms and varies in colour from white to dark brown, thanks to additives or impurities left from the manufacturing process. Heroin can be used in a variety of ways, depending on user preference and the purity of the drug: injected into a vein (mainlining), injected into a muscle, smoked in a water pipe or standard pipe, mixed in a marijuana joint or regular cigarette, inhaled as smoke.
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