WEDINOS -  Home
WEDINOS DAN 24/7 Public Health Wales Welsh Government Naloxone saves lives

Heroin

Type Psychoactive
Legal Status Class A
Heroin
Heroin (diacetylmorphine, diamorphine) was first synthesised from morphine in 1874. Heroin is a powerful opiate pain-killer that produces euphoria and detachment. Tolerance to Heroin builds quickly, as does physical dependence. - Smoking heroin on foil is the safest route of consumption - If you choose to inject, don't do all your heroin in one go - Do not mix Heroin with other drugs, especially other CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines or sleeping tablets or other opiate/ opioids - Heroin will reduce your appetite. Try and eat properly - Know about Naloxone. Naloxone is a short acting antagonist that reverses the effects of heroin and other opiates like morphine and can save lives http://www.naloxonesaveslives.co.uk - Try not to use every day if you’re not dependent. Make sure you have more days where you don’t use, than days where you use. - Use in a safe environment with trusted company - Tell someone you are with what you are taking - Most heroin fatalities are the result of injecting - Injecting carries a far higher risk of contracting a blood borne virus like HIV or hepatitis C and infection through botulism or anthrax.
Toxicity
Severe opiate toxicity produces depression of the respiratory and central nervous systems and pin-point pupils. If untreated the depression of the level of consciousness can lead to deep coma, convulsions and respiratory arrest. The effects in overdosage will be potentiated by simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and other centrally acting drugs.
Addiction Potential
High dependence risk
Short Term Effects
Risk of tolerance and overdose exists and problems may also arise from impurities if heroin is injected. Other effects include: nausea, vomiting, nightmares, anxiety, agitation, euphoria, dysphoria, depression, paranoia, hallucinations, dizziness, headache, loss of coordination; as well as risks from injecting, such as abscess and collapsed veins.
Long Term Effects
Dependence and in long term users there can be a risk of failing to take normal care of the body as heroin is a very effective pain killer and appetite suppressant. Unsterile injection practices increase the risk of blood borne diseases such as Septicaemia, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Complications of chronic intravenous heroin usage include liver disease (Edland, 1972), pulmonary hypertension (Kurtzman, 1970) and peripheral nerve lesions (Richter et al., 1973) In addition, the purity of street drugs cannot be guaranteed; impurities and/or adulterants may lead to atypical complications. Injection of impure heroin - typical UK purity rates range from 10% to 40% - can damage circulatory system, leading to abscesses, ulcers, thrombosis, etc.
Death Data
In 2012 there were 45 heroin-related deaths in Wales