Heroin: The hazard

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International navy coalition has seized more than a tonne of heroin being smuggled through the Indian Ocean. This is the largest recorded haul of heroin ever caught in this "Smack Track".

What is Smack Track?

Smack is one of the most popular name of the banned drug Heroin. The fact that its banned worldover requires the traders to smuggle it around using various established routes. Such routes are called 'Smack Track'

What is Heroin?

  • Heroin (like opium and morphine) is made from the resin of poppy plants. 
  • The poppy plant gives opium which is refined to make morphine and various other forms of heroin.
  • It happens to be highly addictive and is used mainly by millions of addicts around the world particularly in Europe and America.

The Mother of Heroine

  • This title goes to Afghanistan that supplies 80 percent of the world’s opium and subsequently heroin. Out of the 4 major trade routes identified for this drug 3 has its origin in Afghanistan.
  • The second production hub is Andean region (Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru) which caters to both the local demands (primarily US) as well as overseas one (Europe).
  • Myanmar is also fast making its name as an opium production centre. 

Popular Smack Tracks

Indian Ocean Route:

  • Afghanistan > Pakistan > SE Asia

The Balkan Route:  

  • Afghanistan > Iran > Turkey > Southeast Europe -> Western Europe 

The Northern Route: 

  • Afghanistan > Central Asia > Russia -> Western Europe

Andean Region

  • Andean region -> USA and Europe


No matter how you consume it (inject, snort or smoke) Heroin has both short-term and long-term effects on the users. It starts to affect our central nervous system as soon as its in.

Short-Term Effect

  • A feeling of euphoria comes over the user together with a rush of energy and power
  • He after awhile plunges into drowsy state and breathing slows down.
  • This in extreme cases can result in respiratory failure.
  • Accidental overdose may cause death.

Long-Term Effects

Most long term effects results from infection through common sharing equipment or not using sterile technique during consumption.

  • Infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Liver disease and hepatitis transmission
  • Kidney disease
  • Pulmonary complications
  • Skin infections and abscesses

What India does to stop the menace

  • We have 2 major drug laws to fight with this.
  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1985) and 
  • Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1985).
  • The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the chief law enforcement and intelligence agency of India responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances.
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