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Heroin is a crude preparation of diamorphine. It is a semisynthetic product obtained by acetylation of morphine, which occurs as a natural product in opium: the dried latex of certain poppy species e. Papaver somniferum L. Diamorphine is a narcotic analgesic used in the treatment of severe pain. Illicit heroin may be smoked or solubilised with a weak acid and injected. Whereas opium has been smoked since historical times, diamorphine was first synthesised in the late nineteenth century.
Heroin is under international control. Diamorphine diacetylmorphine; CAS is produced by the acetylation of crude morphine. Although five pairs of enantiomers are theoretically possible in morphine, only one occurs naturally 5 R , 6 S , 9 R , 13 S , 14 R. South-west Asian heroin is a brown powder usually in the form of the free base , which is insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents.
The less common south-east Asian heroin is usually a white powder in the form of the hydrate hydrochloride salt CAS , which is soluble in water but insoluble in organic solvents. Diamorphine, like morphine and many other opioids , produces analgesia.
Apart from analgesia, diamorphine produces drowsiness, euphoria and a sense of detachment. Negative effects include respiratory depression, nausea and vomiting, decreased motility in the gastrointestinal tract, suppression of the cough reflex and hypothermia. Tolerance and physical dependence occur on repeated use.
Cessation of use in tolerant subjects le to characteristic withdrawal symptoms. Diamorphine is 2—3 times more potent than morphine. The estimated minimum lethal dose is mg, but addicts may be able to tolerate ten times as much. It is difficult to detect in blood because of rapid hydrolysis to 6-monoacetylmorphine and slower conversion to morphine, the main active metabolite. The plasma half-life of diamorphine is about three minutes.
Morphine is excreted in the urine largely as the glucuronide conjugate. Diamorphine is associated with far more accidental overdoses and fatal poisonings than any other scheduled substance. Much morbidity is caused by infectious agents transmitted by unhygienic injection. The latex from the seed capsules of the opium poppy Papaver somniferum L.
This material opium is dispersed in an aqueous solution of calcium hydroxide slaked lime. The alkalinity is adjusted by adding ammonium chloride, causing morphine base to precipitate. The separated morphine is boiled with acetic anhydride. Sodium carbonate is added, causing the crude diamorphine base to separate. Depending on the region, this may be used directly, further purified or converted into the hydrochloride salt. Until the late s, nearly all heroin consumed in Europe came from south-east Asia, but now most originates from south-west Asia, an area centred on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Heroin is also produced in certain parts of South America, but that material is rarely seen in Europe. As with other naturally occurring drugs of misuse, total synthesis of the active principles is not currently an economic proposition. Those intending to inject this form of heroin must first solubilise it with, for example, citric acid or ascorbic acid. Heroin from south-east Asia is suitable for direct injection of a solution. A typical dose is mg at street level purity. Diamorphine is also included in a generic sense since the Protocol, which revised the Convention, extended control to esters and ethers of scheduled substances.
Thus, diamorphine is the diacetyl ester of morphine Schedule 1. Diamorphine is a narcotic analgesic with limited use in the treatment of severe pain. Prison and drugs in Europe June Drug-related deaths and mortality in Europe May An analysis of drugs in used syringes from sentinel European cities February Cooper, D. King, L. Moffat, A. Schiff, P.
Home Publications Drug profiles. Heroin drug profile Heroin drug profile. This publication provides an overview of current knowledge and the latest developments in the field of drug use and prison in Europe. The report explores in depth the epidemiology of drug use and drug-related problems among the prison population, the available social and health service responses to Focusing on illicit drug use, related harms and drug supply, the report contains a comprehensive set of national data across these themes and key harm reduction interventions.
This report provides an update on drug-related deaths in Europe based primarily on presentations and discussions held at the meeting of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction EMCDDA expert network on drug-related deaths.
The meeting brought together experts and Since early , the COVID pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the way we live, with European countries having to introduce unprecedented measures to protect public health. As with all areas of life, drug consumption, related harms and drug markets have been impacted, as have the services Syringes were collected in and from the bins of street automatic This report reviews how opioid substitution treatment OST is implemented in European countries and examines the public health consequences of the diversion and misuse of prescription OST medications.
It looks at how OST medications are diverted to the illicit market, the motivations behind The issues selected here have been chosen for their policy relevance and general interest. Since the start of , European countries have been experiencing an unprecedented public health threat with the emergence of the coronavirus disease COVID In order to investigate the effects and implications of this pandemic for people who use drugs in Europe, the EMCDDA instigated a mixed Video: European Drug Report — highlights. At a glance — estimates of drug use in the European Union updated June Drug seizures at a glance, Infographic: of reported drug seizures, breakdown by drug, Infographic: drug law offences in the EU related to drug use or possession for use or drug supply: indexed trends and reported offences in Prevalence of high-risk opioid use per 1 population aged years, by country most recent studies.
Drug residues in used syringes in selected European cities,Is opium and heroin the same
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Opium and heroin addicts in Laos. II. A study of matched pairs