Commonly known by its street names of H, smack, horse, brown, black, tar, and others, is an opioid analgesic originally synthesized by C.R. Alder Wright in 1874 by adding two acetyl groups.


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The hydrochloride salt of a diacetyl derivative of the opiate morphine, a naturally occurring alkaloid extracted

from the seedpod of the Asian poppy (Papaver sp.). Once administered, diamorphine (or diacetylmorphine) is

rapidly hydrolyzed to 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) and then to the end-product morphine which binds to

opiate receptors located throughout the mammalian nervous and gastrointestinal systems. Inducing a potent

analgesic, the use of diamorphine is often escalated due to a tolerance effect, resulting in the abuse that is

associated with fatal overdose, abortion, venous sclerosis, and opportunistic infections, among other adverse effects.

Detailed Description:Background: Heroin dependence (HD) is a chronic relapsing brain disorder that is defined by a compulsion to seek and use heroin, and a loss of control in limiting intake.


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