Heroin for pain management:
Heroin (diacetylmorphine) is used for treatment of severe acute pain (such as severe acute pain due to myocardial infarction or heart attack, end stage cancer pain, post surgical pain, terminal illnesses etc.) in some countries (such as United Kingdom), as strong analgesic. It is available as strictly controlled prescription medication. Heroin is available as diamorphine and used subcutaneosly, intravenously, intramuscularly or intrathecally. National Institute for Health recommends use of diacetylmorphine, epidurally or intrathecally for management of post operative pain due to caesarean section. In UK, heroin or diacetylmorphine is still commonly used for palliative care pain management.
Heroin for drug addiction management:
Heroin (diacetylmorphine) is also used as maintenance drug among heroin addicts (long-term intravenous heroin addicts), when all treatment modalities for de-addiction fail, as a last resort. Although many (especially those who follow zero tolerance drug policy) do not accept the use of Heroin (diacetylmorphine) for addicts. Use (as prescription medication under strict medical supervision) of heroin among heroin addicts is superior to use of methadone for health and social well being of chronic heroin addicts.