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Exit is occasionally asked about whether heroin should be obtained from ‘the street’ and used to end life. These questions are often prompted by news reports of people dying from a heroin overdose. In reality, there is little to be gained by using heroin.
As an opiate heroin suffers from the problems of tolerance and sensitivity mentioned above. In addition there is the question of the uncertainty of the dose with heroin. Because it has been acquired on the streets, one can never be exactly sure what or how much one has actually purchased. It also needs to be injected intravenously. In Exit’s experience, few elderly and seriously ill people have these skills.
Note: If heroin is taken orally, it turns back into morphine in the gut and offers no advantage over prescription tablet morphine, where at least the exact dose is known.
One final point on the opiates. If one does die taking these drugs, the death is likely to be very peaceful. Morphia is, after all, the goddess of dreams.