Heroin

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Heroin (diacetylmorphine (INN)), also known as diamorphine (BAN), is a semi-synthetic opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy. It is the 3,6-diacetyl ester of morphine (di (two)-acetyl-morphine). The white crystalline form is commonly the hydrochloride salt diacetylmorphine hydrochloride, though often adulterated thus dulling the sheen and consistency from that to a matte white powder, which diacetylmorphine freebase typically is.[3] 90% of diacetylmorphine is said to be produced in Afghanistan.[4]

As with other opioids, diacetylmorphine is used as both an analgesic and a recreational drug. Frequent and regular administration is associated with tolerance and physical dependence, which may develop into addiction. Internationally, diacetylmorphine is controlled under Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.[5] It is illegal to manufacture, possess, or sell diacetylmorphine without a license in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iran, India, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and Swaziland.

Under the chemical name diamorphine, diacetylmorphine is a legally prescribed controlled drug in the United Kingdom. It is available for prescription to long-term users in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark alongside psycho-social care,[6][7] and a similar programme is being campaigned for by liberal political parties in Norway. Some countries allow the government to sell or donate high-quality seizures of drugs and precursors which are otherwise legal for medicinal use to pharmaceutical manufacturers for use in preparing licit supplies of medical drugs and research chemicals; this was the case in Croatia prior to 2007.[8]

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