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A professor says he uses heroin recreationally and it should be legal.
Carl Hart is a professor and neuroscience expert at Columbia University and has used drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin for the past 30 years.
In his book Drug Use for Grown Ups, he claims heroin, which he first tried six or seven years ago, helps him keep a balanced life.
He writes: "My heroin use is as recreational as my alcohol use.
"Like vacation, sex, and the arts, heroin is one of the tools that I use to maintain my work-life balance."
Professor Hart revealed that he no longer takes heroin every day and he no longer has cravings for it, but that it is his preferred substance.
He said: "Heroin allows me to suspend the perpetual preparation for battle that goes on in my head.
"I am frequently in a state of hypervigilance in an effort to prevent or minimize the damage caused by daily living in my own skin."
Speaking to Insider, he said he believes it's important the US takes a more logical approach to drugs.
"This notion that people are not going to use drugs, that's silly and adolescent," Prof Hart says.
"That's what this book is about: being grown up."
And he hopes he can help bring about the decriminalisation of illicit substances, with the potential for the legalisation of certain drugs.
He said: "You could have a massive public-service-announcement campaign that says 'If you're going to use opioids, don't use alcohol as a background or other sedatives in combination, because it increases the likelihood of respiratory depression and death'."
Prof Hart has seen the negative impacts of the drug however, describing in his book the symptoms he experienced during a bout of 'mild' withdrawal including chills, vomiting, and diarrhea.
He wrote: "It was a pain that I would not easily forget. It was a new pain, unlike any I had previously experienced. It was so intense that it radiated throughout my entire body."
In a bid to escape the pain, Prof Hart crushed up a sedative and knocked himself out until the excruciating pain had dissipated.
It should be noted that in the UK heroin is a class A drug and is extremely dangerous to our health.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, 1,329 people died as a result of either having used heroin or morphine back in 2019.
It is often cut with 'highly-potent opioids (like fentanyls) which are even more dangerous than heroin itself'.
It is also extremely easy to overdose from heroin, killing more people than any other drug. While injecting the drug presents the potential risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
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Featured Image Credit: UBC Peter Wall Downtown Lecture Series
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