Heroin is a morphinan opioid substance derived from the dried latex of the Papaver somniferum plant and is mainly used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects. Heroin was first made by C. R. Alder Wright in 1874 from morphine, a natural product of the opium poppy. Internationally, heroin is controlled under Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and it is generally illegal to make, possess, or sell without a license.
- To some I'm a wise man, to some I'm a fool
But I need a lil something to keep my cool
I sleep with the sun and I rise with the moon
And I feel alright with my needle and spoon.
- Savoy Brown, "Needle and Spoon".
- Junk is the mold of monopoly and possession. ... Junk is quantative and accurately measurable. The more junk you use the less you have and the more you have the more you use. All the hallucinogen drugs are considered sacred by those who use them ... but no one ever suggested that junk is sacred. There are no opium cults. Junk is profane and quantitative like money. Junk is is the ideal product ... the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy. ... The junk merchant does not sell the product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.
- If you look into the history of what is called the CIA, which means the US White House, its secret wars, clandestine warfare, the trail of drug production just follows. It started in France after the Second World War when the United States was essentially trying to reinstitute the traditional social order, to rehabilitate Fascist collaborators, wipe out the Resistance and destroy the unions and so on. The first thing they did was reconstitute the Mafia, as strikebreakers or for other such useful services. And the Mafia doesn't do it for fun, so there was a tradeoff: Essentially, they allowed them to reinstitute the heroin production system, which had been destroyed by the Fascists. The Fascists tended to run a pretty tight ship; they didn't want any competition, so they wiped out the Mafia. But the US reconstituted it, first in southern Italy, and then in southern France with the Corsican Mafia. That's where the famous French Connection comes from. That was the main heroin center for many years. Then US terrorist activities shifted over to Southeast Asia. If you want to carry out terrorist activities, you need local people to do it for you, and you also need secret money to pay for it, clandestine hidden money. Well, if you need to hire thugs and murderers with secret money, there aren't many options. One of them is the drug connection. The so-called Golden Triangle around Burma, Laos and Thailand became a big drug producing area with the help of the United States, as part of the secret wars against those populations.
- Noam Chomsky, Interview by John Veit in High Times, April 1998
- Heroin and other opioids, such as oxycodone and morphine, bring me pleasurable calmness, just as alcohol may function for the drinker subjected to uncomfortable social settings. Opioids are outstanding pleasure producers; I am now entering my fifth year as a regular heroin user. I do not have a drug-use problem. Never have. Each day, I meet my parental, personal, and professional responsibilities. I pay my taxes, serve as a volunteer in my community on a regular basis, and contribute to the global community as an informed and engaged citizen. I am better for my drug use.
- Carl Hart Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear (2021)
- If we’re really concerned, for example, like the opioids and heroin, we need to tell people how to stay safe, if we’re worried about overdose there. About 13,000 people die every year from heroin-related overdoses, whereas 35,000 people die from automobile accidents. We don’t ban automobiles. Instead, we have regulations, and we try to make sure that people stay safe. We have speed limits. We have seat belts. We have all of these sorts of things. But with the opioids, we’re talking about arresting people. And by the way, for the opioids, at the federal level, 80 percent of the people who are arrested are Latino and black.
- Only about a quarter of the people who use something like heroin will become addicted. That means the vast majority are not addicted. But one way we can deal with the deaths, the major concern—another way we can deal is just make naloxone, which is an opioid blocker, make it more available. One of the things that has happened in recent years is that pharmaceutical companies have jacked the price up of naloxone, an old drug that’s been here since the 1960s. I mean, if Congress really wanted to do something, if the president really wanted to do something, he would hold those pharmaceutical companies accountable for increasing the price of naloxone, when the price of naloxone should be really cheap.
- I've seen the man use the needle, seen the needle use the man
I've seen them crawl from the cradle to the gutter on their hands
They fight a war but it's fatal, it's so hard to understand
I've seen the man use the needle, seen the needle use the man.
- Smack's an honest drug, because it strips away these delusions. Why smack, when ya feel good, ya feel immortal. When ya feel bad, it intensifies the shite that's already there. It's the only really honest drug. It doesnt alter your consciousness. It just gives you a hit and a sense of well-being. After that, ya see the misery of the world as it is, and you cannot anesthetise yourself against it.
- I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?
- Don’t mess with the needle or a spoon
Or any trip to the moon
It’ll take you away
Lord, their gonna bury you boy
Don’t mess with the needle
Now I know, I know, I know...
- I've seen the needle and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie's like a settin' sun.
- King Heroin is my shepherd, I shall always want. He maketh me to lie down in the gutters. He leadeth me beside the troubled waters. He destroyeth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of wickedness for the effort's sake. Yea, I shall walk through the valley of poverty and will fear all evil for thou, Heroin, art with me. Thy Needle and capsule try to comfort me. Thou strippest the table of groceries in the presence of my family. Thou robbest my head of reason. My cup of sorrow runneth over. Surely heroin addiction shall stalk me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the House of the Damned forever.
- Author unknown, "The Psalm of the Addict"; reported in Congressional Record (July 31, 1971), vol. 117, p. 28511. A newspaper clipping of this was found with the body of a young woman suicide in Rockingham County, North Carolina, and it was subsequently reprinted in an editorial in the Morganton, North Carolina, News-Herald (May 12, 1971).