Chasing the Dragon
CHASING THE DRAGON
"TITTER YE NOT"
I persuaded my
girlfriend to smuggle my coke through customs
by sticking it up her BUTT.
I didn't know I could buy another can in the departure lounge.
An elephant, an ostrich and a crocodile stop a bloke in the street.
The crocodile pulls out a police badge and says, "We have reason to believe you are carrying substances of an hallucinogenic nature, Sir."
Security stopped me at the airport last night.
He said, "Do you mind if we search your luggage?"
I said, "It depends, what for?"
He said, "Drugs."
I said, "In that case, no."
As me and the wife headed off on a
romantic holiday we talked about what kinky things we'd like to do to each other.
She said, "I've always wanted to be handcuffed."
So I planted a kilo of coke in her suitcase.
"Chasing the Dragon" is a slang phrase of Cantonese origin
from Hong Kong referring to inhaling the vapor from heated
morphine, heroin , oxycodone, opium, or yaba (a pill containing
caffeine and methamphetamine). The "chasing" occurs as the
user gingerly keeps the liquid moving in order to keep it from
overheating and burning up too quickly. The moving smoke is
chased after with a tube through which the user inhales.
Another more metaphorical use of the term "chasing the
dragon" refers to the elusive pursuit of the ultimate high in the
usage of some particular drug.
Such ingestion may pose less immediate danger to the user
than injecting heroin, due to eliminating the risk of transmission
of HIV, hepatitis, and other diseases through needle sharing, as
well as the stress that injection puts on veins. A small puff can
be inhaled as a method of gauging the strength of the heroin.
Also, the lungs can act to filter out additional pollutants that
otherwise would pass directly into the bloodstream; however, in
any case, it is always harmful to expose the lungs to any kind
of smoke and inhaling heroin itself may lead to toxic leukoencephalopathy .
Another metaphorical interpretation of chasing the dragon exemplifies chasing after a high
getting closer and closer to death, the metaphorical catching of the dragon, which would
result in the dragon turning on the chaser and killing him or her. Biblical chasing after the
wind refers to the senselessness of earthly pursuits when one's death looms, such as
wealth, possessions, and even family and prestige.
The song "Beware the Dog" by The Griswolds refers to chasing the dragon. The song
is about being addicted to heroin with a former girlfriend and being dragged down by the
experience with phrases such as "Now you chase the dragon on your own" and "She
used to suck the life out of me".
Sufjan Stevens' song No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross specifically mentions "chasing the dragon".
The Blur song "Beetlebum" refers to an alternative phrase for chasing the dragon, "chasing the beetle". Lead singer Damon Albarn confirmed the song was about heroin. The phrase is used as the title of multiple films, from different genres, but usually involving drug addiction.
A 1996 Lifetime Network Television movie was called Chasing the Dragon; it starred Markie Post as a middle-class mom who becomes addicted to heroin.
The 1980 autobiography Chasing the Dragon:
One Woman's Struggle Against the Darkness of Hong Kong's Drug Dens reprinted in 2003, but without the final "s" after "Den" in the subtitle, or else with the cover subtitle "The true story of how one woman's faith resulted in the conversion of hundreds of drug addicts, prostitutes and hardened criminals Hong Kong's infamous Walled City" by British Protestant missionary Jackie Pullinger with Andrew Quicke recalls how she went to Hong Kong to help drug addicts quit "chasing the dragon" through Christian teaching and prayer.
The 2009 novel Chasing the Dragon—by English science fiction author Justina Robson, and from her Quantum Gravity series—tells how a pair of human-cyborg and faery friends seek to rebuild their lives, with those around them, following a Quantum Bomb Event of 2015.
Chasing the Dragon is a Led Zeppelin bootleg recording of a concert at Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, Texas on March 4, 1975, released by Empress Valley label.
"Chasing the Dragon" is the title of various songs by Thomas Leer, rapper Ill Bill, American glam metal band L.A. Guns, Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, Australian rock supergroup Beasts of Bourbon, Wan Kwong, Dream Evil, Machine Gun Fellatio, Legendary Newfoundland/Canadian band Thomas Trio and the Red Albino, and 90's Christian band Code of Ethics.
The title of Urge Overkill's album Exit The Dragon references the act of exhaling heroin smoke as well as the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon. The front cover is a picture of (presumably exhaled) smoke. The song "The Mistake", a warning to "beware the overdose", contains the lyrics "Never gonna make it today / Until you finally exit the dragon". Ex-drummer Blackie Onassis is a known heroin addict and was fired from the band for his addiction.
In the TV program Blue Mountain State, Harmon Tedesco often refers to having "chased the dragon".
In the South Park episode "Guitar Queer-O", Stan and later his dad become addicted to a video game in which the
player chases a dragon (but never catches it) while injecting "virtual heroin".
In the Steely Dan song "Time Out of Mind" off the 1980 album Gaucho, the chorus includes the line "tonight when I
chase the dragon".
In 2013, GFY Press released the fiction novel Chase The Dragon by Vancouver author Chris Walter.
The swing song "Brown Derby Jump" by the band Cherry Poppin' Daddies includes the line "A three year trip on the dragon", a variation on chasing the dragon.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs song "Dragon Queen" might also be about usage of heroin.
Devilmans "Elite Sessions" freestyle includes the line "Don't give up your day job fam you're better off chasing the
dragon on tin foil", which is a reference to smoking heroin.
Heroin is an opioid painkiller and the 3, 6-diacetyl ester of morphine. Heroin is prescribed as an analgesic, cough suppressant and as an anti diarrhoeal. It is also used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects .
Frequent and regular administration is associated with tolerance and
physical dependence. In some countries it is available for prescription to
long term use as a form of opioid replacement therapy alongside
It was originally synthesized by C. R. Alder Wright in1874 by adding two
Internationally, heroin is controlled under Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. It is generally illegal to manufacture, possess, or sell heroin without a license. In 2004, Afghanistan produced roughly 87% of the world supply in illicit raw opium . However, the production rate in Mexico rose six fold from 2007 to 2011, making Mexico the second largest opium producer in the world.
Administered intravenously by injection, heroin is two to four times more potent than morphine and is faster in its onset of action. Illicit heroin is sometimes available in a matte-white powder freebase form . Because of its lower boiling point, the freebase form of heroin is smokable.
Diamorphine , almost always still called by its original trade name of heroin in non-medical settings, is used as a recreational drug for the intense euphoria it induces.
Anthropologist Michael Agar once described heroin as "the perfect whatever drug." Tolerance develops quickly, and
increased doses are needed in order to achieve the same effects.
Its popularity with recreational drug users, compared to morphine, reportedly stems from its perceived different effects. In particular, users report an intense rush, an acute transcendent state of euphoria , which occurs while diamorphine is being metabolized into 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) and morphine in the brain.
Some believe that heroin produces more euphoria than other opioids; one possible explanation is the presence of 6-monoacetylmorphine, a metabolite unique to heroin – although a more likely explanation is the rapidity of its onset. While other opioids of recreational use produce only morphine, heroin also leaves 6-MAM, also a psycho-active metabolite. However, this perception is not supported by the results of clinical studies comparing the physiological and subjective effects of injected heroin and morphine in individuals formerly addicted to opioids; these subjects showed no preference for one drug over the other. Equipotent injected doses had comparable action courses, with no difference in subjects' self-rated feelings of euphoria, ambition, nervousness, relaxation, drowsiness, or sleepiness.
Short-term addiction studies by the same researchers demonstrated that tolerance developed at a similar rate to both heroin and morphine. When compared to the opioids hydromorphone, fentanyl, oxycodone , and pethidine (meperidine), former addicts showed a strong preference for heroin and morphine, suggesting that heroin and morphine are particularly susceptible to abuse and addiction. Morphine and heroin were also much more likely to produce euphoria and other positive subjective effects when compared to these other opioids.
Some researchers have attempted to explain heroin use and the culture that surrounds it through the use of sociological theories. In Righteous Dopefiend, Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg use anomie theory to explain why people begin using heroin. By analyzing a community in San Francisco, they demonstrated that heroin use was caused in part by internal and external factors such as violent homes and parental neglect. This lack of emotional, social, and financial support causes strain and influences individuals to engage in deviant acts, including heroin usage. They further found that heroin users practiced "retreatism", a behaviour first described by Howard Abadinsky , in which those suffering from such strain reject society's goals and institutionalized means of achieving them.
Smoking heroin refers to vaporising it to inhale the resulting fumes, not
burning it to inhale the resulting smoke. It is commonly smoked in glass
pipes made from glass blown Pyrex tubes and light bulbs. It can also be
smoked off aluminium foil, which is heated underneath by a flame and the
resulting smoke is inhaled through a tube of rolled up foil, This method is
also known as "chasing the dragon" (whereas smoking methamphetamine
is known as "chasing the white dragon").
Like most opioids, unadulterated heroin does not cause many long-term
complications other than dependence and constipation. The average purity
of street heroin in the UK varies between 30% and 50% and heroin that
this variation has led to people suffering from overdoses as a result of the
heroin missing a stage on its journey from port to end user, as each set of
hands that the drug passes through adds further adulterants, the strength
of the drug reduces, with the effect that if steps are missed, the purity of the drug reaching the end user is higher than they are used to. Intravenous use of heroin (and any other substance) with non-sterile needles and syringes or other related equipment may lead to:
The risk of contracting blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis by the sharing of needles
The risk of contracting bacterial or fungal endocarditis and possibly venous sclerosis
Poisoning from contaminants added to "cut" or dilute heroin
Decreased kidney function (although it is not currently known if this is because of adulterants or infectious diseases)
A small percentage of heroin smokers, and occasionally IV
users, may develop symptoms of toxic
leukoencephalopathy . The cause has yet to be identified,
but one speculation is that the disorder is caused by an
uncommon adulterant that is only active when heated.
Symptoms include slurred speech and difficulty walking.
Cocaine is sometimes used in combination with heroin, and
is referred to as a speedball when injected or moonrocks
when smoked together. Cocaine acts as a stimulant,
whereas heroin acts as a depressant. Co Administration
provides an intense rush of euphoria with a high that
combines both effects of the drugs, while excluding the
negative effects, such as anxiety and sedation. The effects
of cocaine wear off far more quickly than heroin, so if an overdose of heroin was used to compensate for cocaine, the end result is fatal respiratory depression.
The withdrawal syndrome from heroin (the so-called "cold turkey") may begin within 6–24 hours of discontinuation of the drug; however, this time frame can fluctuate with the degree of tolerance as well as the amount of the last consumed dose. Symptoms may include:
sweating, malaise, anxiety, depression, akathisia, priapism, extra sensitivity of the genitals in females, general feeling of heaviness, excessive yawning or sneezing, tears, rhinorrhea, sleep difficulties (insomnia), cold sweats, chills, severe muscle and boneaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, watery eyes, fever and cramp-like pains and involuntary spasms in the limbs (thought to be an origin of the term "kicking the habit").
Heroin overdose is usually treated with an opioid
antagonist, such as naloxone ( Narcan ), or naltrexone.
This reverses the effects of heroin and other opioids and
causes an immediate return of consciousness but may
result in withdrawal symptoms. The half-life of naloxone is
shorter than most opioids, so that it has to be administered
multiple times until the opioid has been metabolised by the
Depending on drug interactions and numerous other
factors, death from overdose can take anywhere from
several minutes to several hours. Death usually occurs due
to lack of oxygen resulting from the lack of breathing
caused by the opioid. Heroin overdoses can occur because
of an unexpected increase in the dose or purity or because
of diminished opioid tolerance. However, many fatalities reported as overdoses are probably caused by interactions with other depressant drugs such as alcohol or benzodiazepines . It should also be noted that since heroin can cause nausea and vomiting, a significant number of deaths attributed to heroin overdose are caused by aspiration of vomit by an unconscious person. Some sources quote the median lethal dose for an average 75 kg opiate-naive individual as being between 75 and 600 mg. Illicit heroin is of widely varying and unpredictable purity. This means that the user may prepare what they consider to be a moderate dose while actually taking far more than intended. Also, tolerance typically decreases after a period of abstinence. If this occurs and the user takes a dose comparable to their previous use, the user may experience drug effects that are much greater than expected, potentially resulting in an overdose. It has been speculated that an unknown portion of heroin-related deaths are the result of an overdose or allergic reaction to quinine, which may sometimes be used as a cutting agent.
The opium poppy was cultivated in lower Mesopotamia as long ago as 3400
BCE. The chemical analysis of opium in the 19th century revealed that most of
its activity could be ascribed to two alkaloids, codeine and morphine .
Diamorphine was first synthesized in 1874 by C. R. Alder Wright , an English
chemist working at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London. He had been
experimenting with combining morphine with various acids. He boiled
anhydrous morphine alkaloid with acetic anhydride for several hours and
produced a more potent, acetylated form of morphine, now called
diacetylmorphine or morphine diacetate. The compound was sent to F. M.
Pierce of Owens College in Manchester for analysis.
Doses ... were subcutaneously injected into young dogs and rabbits ... with the following general results ... great prostration and sleepiness speedily following the administration, the eyes being sensitive, and pupils constrict, considerable salivation
being produced in dogs, and slight tendency to vomiting in some cases, but no actual nemesis. Respiration was at first quickened, but subsequently reduced, and the heart's action was diminished, and rendered irregular. Marked want of coordinating power over the muscular movements, and loss of power in the pelvis and hind limbs, together with a diminution of temperature in the rectum of about 4°.
Wright's invention did not lead to any further developments, and diamorphine became popular only after it was
independently re-synthesized 23 years later by another chemist, FelixHoffmann . Hoffmann, working at Bayer
pharmaceutical company in Elberfeld, Germany, was instructed by his supervisor Heinrich Dreser to acetylatemorphine with the objective of producing codeine, a constituent of the opium poppy, pharmacologically similar to morphine but less potent and less addictive. Instead, the experiment produced an acetylated form of morphine one and a half to two times more potent than morphine itself. The head of Bayer's research department reputedly coined the drug's new name, "heroin,"
based on the German heroisch, which means "heroic, strong.' Bayer scientists were not the first to make heroin, but their scientists discovered ways to make it, and Bayer led commercialisation of heroin.
From 1898 through to 1910, diamorphine was marketed under the trade mark
name Heroin as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough suppressant.
In the 11th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica (1910), the article on morphine
"In the cough of phthisis minute doses of morphine are of service, but in
this particular disease morphine is frequently better replaced by codeine or by
heroin, which checks irritable coughs without the narcotism following upon the
administration of morphine."
In the U.S.A., the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was passed in 1914 to control the sale and distribution of diacetylmorphine
and other opioids, which allowed the drug to be prescribed and sold for medical purposes. In 1924, the United States Congress banned its sale, importation, or manufacture. It is now a Schedule I substance, which makes it legal for non-medical use in signatory nations of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty, including the United States.
The Health Committee of the League of Nations banned diacetylmorphine in 1925 , although it took more than three years for this to be implemented. In the meantime, the first designer drugs, viz. 3, 6 diesters and 6 monoesters of morphine and
acetylated analogues of closely related drugs like hydromorphone and
dihydromorphine, were produced in massive quantities to fill the worldwide demand for diacetylmorphine —this continued until 1930 when the Committee banned diacetylmorphine analogues with no therapeutic advantage over drugs already in use, the first major legislation of this type.
Later, as with Aspirin, Bayer lost some of its trademark rights to heroin under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles following the German defeat in World War I.
In 1895, the German drug company Bayer marketed diacetylmorphine as an over- the-counter drug under the trademark name Heroin. The name was derived from the Greek word heros because of its perceived "heroic" effects upon a user. It was developed chiefly as a morphine substitute for cough suppressants that did not have morphine's addictive side-effects. Morphine at the time was a popular recreational drug, and Bayer wished to find a similar but non-addictive substitute to market. However, contrary to Bayer's advertising as a "non-morphine substitute," heroin would soon have one of the highest rates of dependence among its users.
In the United Kingdom, diamorphine is available by prescription, though it is a restricted Class A drug. According to the 50th edition of the British National Formulary, diamorphine hydrochloride may be used in the treatment of acute pain, myocardial infarction, acute pulmonary oedema, and chronic pain. The treatment of chronic non-malignant pain must be supervised by a specialist. The BNF notes that all opioid analgesics cause dependence and tolerance but that this is "no deterrent in the control of pain in terminal illness". When used in the palliative care of cancer patients, diamorphine is often injected using a syringe driver.
In the United States, diamorphine is a Schedule I drug according to the
Controlled Substances Act of 1970, making it illegal to possess without a DEA license .
Possession of more than 100 grams of diamorphine or a mixture containing diamorphine is punishable with a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years of imprisonment in a federal prison.
Diamorphine is produced from acetylation of morphine derived from natural opium sources. Numerous mechanical and chemical means are used to purify the final product. The final products have a different appearance depending on purity and have different names.
Heroin purity has been classified into four grades. No.4 is the purest form –white powder (salt) to be easily dissolved and injected. No.3 is brown sugar for smoking (base). No.1 and No.2 are unprocessed raw heroin (salt or base).
Traffic is heavy worldwide, with the biggest producer being Afghanistan. According to a U.N. sponsored survey, in 2004, Afghanistan accounted for production of 87 percent of the world's diamorphine. Afghan opium kills around 100,000 people annually. In 2003 The Independent reported:
...The cultivation of opium in Afghanistan reached its peak in 1999, when 350 square miles (910 km2) of poppies were sown ...The following year the Taliban banned poppy cultivation, ...a move which
cut production by 94 percent ...By 2001 only 30 square miles (78 km2) of land were in use for growing opium poppies.
A year later, after American and British troops had removed the Taliban and installed the interim government, the land under cultivation leapt back to 285 square miles (740 km2), with Afghanistan supplanting Burma to become the world's largest opium producer once more.
Opium production in that country has increased rapidly since, reaching an all-time high in 2006. War in Afghanistan once again appeared as a facilitator of the trade. Some 3.3 million Afghans are involved in producing opium.
At present, opium poppies are mostly grown in Afghanistan, and in Southeast Asia, especially in the region known as the Golden Triangle straddling Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Yunnan province in China. There is also cultivation of opium poppies in the Sinaloa region of Mexico and in Colombia. According to the DEA, the majority of the heroin consumed in the United States comes from Mexico (50%) and Colombia (43-45%) via Mexican criminal cartels such as Sinaloa Cartel. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC ), Pakistan has over 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of opium poppies under cultivation concentrated in the areas bordering Afghanistan and is the destination and transit point for 40 percent of the opiates produced in that country.
Conviction for trafficking heroin carries the death penalty in most Southeast
Asian, some East Asian and Middle Eastern countries among which Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are the most strict. The penalty applies even to citizens
of countries where the penalty is not in place, sometimes causing controversy when foreign visitors are arrested for trafficking, for example the arrest of nine Australians in Bali, the death sentence given to Nola Blake in Thailand in 1987, or the hanging of an Australian citizen Van Tuong Nguyen in Singapore.
The origins of the present international illegal heroin trade can be traced back to laws passed in many countries in the early 1900s that closely regulated the production and sale of opium and its derivatives including heroin. At first, heroin flowed from countries where it was still legal into countries where it was no longer legal. By the mid-1920s, heroin production had been made illegal in many parts of the world. An illegal trade developed at that time between heroin labs in China (mostly in Shanghai and Tianjin) and other nations. The weakness of government in China and conditions of civil war enabled heroin production to take root there. Chinese triad gangs eventually came to play a major role in the illicit heroin trade. The French Connection route started in the 1930s.
LOU REID WAITING FOR MY MAN
Heroin trafficking was virtually eliminated in the U.S.
during World War II because of temporary trade
disruptions caused by the war. Japan's war with
China had cut the normal distribution routes for heroin
and the war had generally disrupted the movement of
After World War II, the Mafia took advantage of the
weakness of the postwar Italian government and set up heroin labs in Sicily. The Mafia took advantage of Sicily's location along the historic route opium took westward into Europe and the United States.
Large-scale international heroin production effectively ended in China with the victory of the communists in the civil war in
the late 1940s. The elimination of Chinese production happened at the same time that Sicily's role in the trade developed.
Although it remained legal in some countries until after World War II, health risks, addiction, and widespread recreational use led most western countries to declare heroin a controlled substance by the latter half of the 20th century.
In late 1960s and early 1970s, the CIA supported anti-Communist Chinese Nationalists settled near the Sino-Burmese
border and Hmong tribesmen in Laos. This helped the development of the Golden Triangle opium production region, which supplied about one-third of heroin consumed in US after the 1973 American withdrawal from Vietnam. In 1999, Burma, the heartland of the Golden Triangle, was the second largest producer of heroin, after Afghanistan.
The Soviet-Afghan war led to increased production in the Pakistani-Afghan border regions, as U.S.-backed mujaheddin militants raised money for arms from selling opium, contributing heavily to the modern Golden Crescent creation. By 1980,
60 percent of heroin sold in the U.S. originated in Afghanistan. It increased international production of heroin at lower prices in the 1980s. The trade shifted away from Sicily in the late 1970s as various criminal organizations violently fought with each other over the trade. The fighting also led to a stepped-up government law enforcement presence in Sicily. Following the discovery at a Jordanian airport of a toner cartridge that had been modified into an improvised explosive device, the resultant increased level of airfreight scrutiny led to a major shortage (drought) of heroin from October 2010 until April 2011. This was reported in most of mainland Europe and the UK which led to a price increase of approximately 30 percent in the cost of street heroin and an increased demand for diverted methadone. The number of addicts seeking treatment also increased significantly during this period. Other heroin droughts have been attributed to cartels restricting supply in order to force a
price increase and also to a fungus that attacked the opium crop of 2009. Many people thought that the American government had introduced pathogens into the Afghanistan atmosphere in order to destroy the opium crop and thus starve the insurgents of income.
On 13 March 2012, Haji Bagcho , with ties to the Taliban, was convicted by a U.S.
District Court of conspiracy, distribution of heroin for importation into the United
States and narco-terrorism. Based on heroin production statistics compiled by the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2006, Bagcho's activities accounted for
approximately 20 percent of the world's total production for that year.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction reports that the retail
price of brown heroin varies from €14.5 per gram in Turkey to €110 per gram in
Sweden, with most European countries reporting typical prices of €35–40 per gram.
The price of white heroin is reported only by a few European countries and ranged
between €27 and €110 per gram.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime claims in its 2008 World Drug Report
that typical US retail prices are US$172 per gram. UK Colchester 2009 £10 per
Heroin is mentioned in hundreds of films. Sometimes the use or trafficking of the drug
is the central theme of the film but many times it is almost incidental as part of a crime in a police drama, for example.
MEXICO GUNS AND DOLLARS
1957 film Monkey on My Back based on the book about his addiction
by boxer Barney Ross.
A Hatfull of Rain, the 1957 film based on the 1955 play by Michael V.
Gazzo about an addicted Korean War veteran.
The 1959 play The Connection by Jack Gelber, and the 1961 film
adaptation of it, concern a group of addicts, some of whom are jazz
musicians, waiting for their dealer.
The film The Panic in Needle Park starring Al Pacino and Kitty Winn
is the story of a young woman who falls in love with a heroin addict in
New York. It was one of Pacino's first roles.
The film American Gangster is loosely based on real-life drug dealer
Frank Lucas, who sold heroin. Lucas was portrayed by Denzel
The film Gia, based on a true story of model Gia Carangi, is about her addiction to and use of heroin and how it affected her.
The film Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (We the
children of Bahnhof Zoo) is about heroin use and street culture in West Berlin in the 1970s, centering on a 13-year-old girl's decision to experiment with the drug.
The film Trainspotting chronicles the exploits of a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the late 1980s.
The film Requiem for a Dream tells the story off our drug (mainly heroin) addicts who can only witness their disastrous
habits spiral out of control into the darkest, ugliest and dirtiest sides of humanity.
In season three of the American television series 24, the show's protagonist Jack Bauer is seen battling a heroin
addiction after having spent months undercover working with a drug lord family in Mexico.
The film The Basketball Diaries follows protagonist Jim Carrol's addiction to heroin and getting off heroin. Leonardo
DiCaprio portrayed Carrol.
The film Pulp Fiction, featuring John Travolta as Vincent Vega, shows IV use of the drug, and Uma Thurman's character Mia Wallace overdoses.
The television series Breaking Bad features Jane Margolis, Jesse Pinkman's girlfriend / landlady, who is in rehab for
heroin usage, but gets back into using it and introduces Jesse to it, but later dies due to the combination of an overdose
and Walter White's refusal to save her life.
The film Rush (1991) starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jason Patric, Sam Elliott and Gregg Allman is a fictionalised
depiction of a heroin-trade-based corruption scandal that wracked the Tyler, Texas, US Police Department in the late seventies; undercover detective characters played by Leigh and Patrick inadvertently become heroin addicts in the process
of attempting to gather evidence against the local drug dealer played by Allman.
Use of heroin by jazz musicians in particular was prevalent in the mid-twentieth century, including Billie Holiday, sax legends Charlie Parker and Art Pepper, guitarist Joe Pass and piano player/singer Ray Charles; a "staggering number of jazz musicians were addicts". It was also a problem with many rock musicians, particularly from the late 1960s through the 1990s. Pete Doherty is also a self-confessed user of heroin. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's heroin addiction was well documented. Pantera frontman, Phil Anselmo, turned to heroin while touring during the 1990s to cope with his back pain.
Mexican Drug Cartel Murder
"The Needle and the Spoon" by Lynyrd Skynyrd off their album Second
"Heroin" and "I'm Waiting For The Man" by The Velvet Underground
"The Needle and the Damage Done" by Neil Young
"Golden Brown" by The Stranglers
"Beetlebum" by Blur
"She Talks to Angels" by The Black Crowes
"Heroin Girl" by Everclear
"She's Like Heroin" System Of A Down
"Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
"The Needle Lies Again" from The Deadlight Sessions EP by Heaven
"King Heroin" by James Brown
"Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails
"Badfish" by Sublime
"The Needle Lies" by Queensryche
"Needle in the Hay" by Elliott Smith
"Time to Pretend" by MGMT
"The A Team" by Ed Sheeran
"There She Goes" by The La's
"Dead Flowers" by The Rolling Stones
The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, the debut studio album of Sixx: A.M.
"Mr Brownstone" by Guns N' Roses
"Cold Turkey" by John Lennon was about Lennon and Yoko Ono going
cold turkey off of their heroin addictions.
"Ashes to Ashes" Davie Bowie's 1980 single included lines that refer to
Major Tom as "... a junkie/strung out on heaven's high/hitting an all-time low."
Two songs on the U2 album Rattle and Hum refer to heroin use:
uses heroin as a metaphor for lust, with the lyrics "She's the candle burnin' in my room / Yeah, I'm like the needle / The needle and spoon"
"Hawkmoon 269", a song about the passionate need for one's lover, includes the lyric "Like a needle needs a vein"
U2 songs "Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car" and "Bad" also refer to heroin.
Songs such as "Junkhead", "Godsmack", "Dirt" "Hate to Feel" and "Angry Chair" from the album Dirt, including many
others from other albums, by grunge band Alice in Chains
"People Who Died" by The Jim Carroll Band. Several people in the song died of heroin-related causes.
"(He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River", a satirical song by the Australian band TISM lists a number of celebrities whose deaths were related to heroin use, including the song's namesake River Phoenix.