Heroin UK: `Every Tom, Dick and Harry's on it'

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The Independent Online
Carl, 25, a heroin dealer, tells `The Independent' his story.

"WHEN I started taking heroin six years ago, I'd never dreamt of selling it. By February last year, I was off the heroin and saw there was a long- term market for drugs. I used to sell ecstasy when I was younger but heroin has a wider market and can make much more money.

"Now it's out in the open, every Tom, Dick and Harry's on it, it's not seen as such a bad drug. It's becoming more like cocaine, more sociable. The bad side is the younger generation get involved, 12 or 13-year-olds think it's in fashion.

"There are two types of users: junkies, and recreational users. I don't see the recreational users every day. One guy owns his own company, he comes round in a suit and new car. He spends about pounds 60 every three days. Others come after work, buy pounds 30 worth and save a bit for the morning. They call it `B' or `Brown'. They'll phone and say `Have you got two Bs?'

"In the olden days more people used to inject it, but now you can just smoke it and chill out. Everyone smokes cigarettes and smoking drugs is not such a big deal. This is probably what's made it more attractive.

"Some of the junkies are beggars and turn up with a handful of coins. They might come three or four times a day and spend pounds 15 each time. `Hard knocks' - the proper junkies - spend pounds 30 three times a day.

"It will come to me in rocks and I break it down into powder. I sell it in small bits which means people can easily afford it. They can just keep coming back for little bits at a time.

"I see myself as a public service: if people want alcohol they go to an off-licence, if they want heroin they come to me. My only motivation is money. I can turn over pounds 1,500 a day - about pounds 800 profit. It's got to the point where I've had to employ someone as a runner.

"The market is dominated by the person selling the best stuff. If someone overdoses on heroin, other users will want to buy from the dealer because they know his gear is strong. It's a bit sick really."

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