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Heroin in its pure form is a white powder with a bitter taste. However, most
illicit heroin varies in color from white to dark brown. "Black tar" heroin
is sticky like roofing tar or hard like coal, and its color may vary from dark
brown to black. Users administer heroin by injecting, smoking, or snorting it.
Heroin is brought into the U.S. from foreign sources of opium. Production of
this drug occurs in South America, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia.
Heroin has a long history. The first source was opium from poppies around 6000
BC; the Greeks recorded opium addiction in the third century BC. The Chinese
first inhaled it in the 17th century. In 16th-century Europe, Paracelsus invented
laudanum - an opium-based medicine that was used for painkilling and sedation
well into the 19th century, until morphine was developed. A more powerful variant,
diamorphine (heroin), appeared in Germany in 1874 and by the 1930s it had overtaken
opium as the cheaper narcotic.
The heroin effect is bigger than almost any other drug. It's a really powerful
feeling that has no comparison in normal life. When heroin is injected intravenously,
the "rush" is almost instantaneous, but even when it's smoked it only
takes a few seconds.
There are numerous health risks associated with heroin use. These
include but are not limited to:
Common signs of heroin use include but are not limited to:
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