A.K.A: Smack, Brown, Dope, Horse
Heroin is a strong opioid drug made from the opium poppy. In New Zealand, ‘homebake heroin’ refers to heroin produced from pharmaceutical codeine or morphine.
Heroin is a depressant, meaning it slows down your brain and body functions. It can make you feel euphoric, warm, and sleepy and temporarily relieve pain. Heroin can also make you feel groggy, itchy, and nauseous and cause slowed breathing and loss of consciousness. As heroin is about 4x as strong as morphine, it carries a high risk of overdose.
Overseas, particularly in North America, heroin is commonly laced with the powerful and dangerous opioid, fentanyl. This has resulted in over 100,000 deaths over the past several years. While New Zealand doesn’t currently have an opioid epidemic, it is still recommended that people using heroin consider fentanyl testing their drugs before using.
Free naloxone kits, fee training, oranges to practice on – and a barbecue lunch. That's how they do overdose prevention in British Columbia.
Switzerland’s national drug policy, introduced in the 1990s, comprises four pillars: prevention, therapy, harm reduction and prohibition. The Swiss public voted the approach into law in 2008.
The long, mostly hidden and quietly swoony story of the Kiwi relationship with heroin (diamorphine): Redmer Yska traces New Zealand’s history of heroin.