With the i.v. route or inhalation much higher peak plasma concentrations can be reached than with oral administration. This accounts for the 'kick' or 'flash' that abusers report and which many seek, likening it to sexual orgasm or better. As an addict said "The ultimate high is death' and it has been reported that when hearing of someone dying of an overdose, some addicts will seek out the vendor since it is evident he is selling 'really good stuff'.6 Addicts who rely on illegal sources are inevitably exposed to being supplied diluted or even inert preparations at high prices. North American addicts who have come to the UK believing themselves to be accustomed to high doses of heroin have suffered acute poisoning when given, probably for the first time, pure heroin at an official UK drug dependence clinic.
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