Francis Moraes (born February 10, 1964, Santa Rosa, California), whose online pseudonym is Dr. H, is an American writer, author of three opiate-related non-fiction books and hundreds of articles.
Moraes trained as a research physicist and chemist and attained a PhD in physics. He became interested in the heroin subculture in Portland, Oregon – the number two most vibrant heroin city in the United States, at that time (according to DEA statistics). After that, he expanded his perspective, spending numerous years studying the heroin subcultures in New York City, Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay area. Francis Moraes has been a notable part of the harm reduction movement, particularly as it relates to heroin and other opioids. He writes from this perspective with the stated intent of neither demonizing nor glorifying opioids, aiming only to provide drug users, scholars, and other curious readers alike an objective perspective on the issue. His work is generally considered neutral in content and calm in tone, but he has his detractors who point out biases and inconsistency.
Moraes differs from other authors in stressing the comparatively minor effects of opioid use and the profound pain associated with opioid withdrawal. Heroin in particular, is commonly considered an extremely potent euphoric; Moraes stresses that the euphoria of heroin is actually rather subtle and very often overwhelmed by the nausea that is also produced by the drug. Moraes also counters common descriptions of the withdrawal that opioid addicts experience when they stop using. Many authors compare opioid withdrawal to a bad flu; Moraes counters this idea—particularly in his later work where he stresses the importance of a dysfunctional endorphin system on the management of pain (e.g. Little Book of Opium).
Currently, Francis Moraes continues to write for Heroin Helper and is in the process of publishing the second edition of Heroin User's Handbook with his new company Frankly Curious Media. Most of his writing now centers on grammar, books, and philosophy and can be found at Frankly Curious. He generally uses the first name "Frank" for his non-drug related writing.
- The Little Book of Opium, Ronin Publishing (2003) ISBN 0914171836
- The Little Book of Heroin, Ronin Publishing
- The Heroin User's Handbook
- Heroin Helper: Moraes' heroin/opioid site.
- Frankly Curious: Everything Interesting for Everyone Interesting.
- Frankly Curious Media: Moraes' publishing company.
- Works by or about Francis Moraes in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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