By: Jasmine De leon, Keith Griggs, and Ester Frieder

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that is derived from morphine.

Morphine is a psychoactive (mind-altering) type of substance that is from the opium poppy plant.

How is Heroin abused?

How does Heroin affect the brain?

  • the heroin is converted back into Morphine (a drug used to treat pain/ taken in high doses can cause life threatening respiratory distress)
  • binds to oploid receptors (cells that influence areas on the body related to pain and pleasure)

  • Short term Effects = rush of good feelings, clouded thinking, when a person starts, they want to sleep, their body functions slow down, and they have a strong urge to take more Heroin
  • Long term Effects = Tolerance, Dependence, and Addiction

What are other effects of Heroin?

Heroin can have very serious effects on the body, with over 250,000 hospital cases involving it. Itching, Nausea, slowed breathing, increased risk of HIV or hepatitis, itching, and comas are short term effects of heroin. Some long term effects include permanent damage to the blood vessels in the brain, liver, kidneys, and lungs. If you get addicted, it can cause bone and muscle pain, strong want of the drug, cold flashes and chills, throwing up, restlessness, and kicking motions.

Can you get addicted to Heroin?

Yes. It enters the brain very quickly and users get addicted just as fast. Also, since heroin addicts develop a tolerance, more of the drug is needed each time to reach the same high. Over 510,000 people were addicted in 2013.

Can you die from Heroin use?

More than 10,000 people died from heroin in 2014. This is known as overdosing, and signs of it are blue lips, shaking, and cold or wet skin. Also, the slowed breathing or stopped breathing from heroin use can kill someone. Someone who is using heroin frequently should be taken to the emergency room immediately.

How many teens abuse Heroin?

In a lifetime, Heroin is abused by 0.5% percent of 8th graders, 0.7% of 10th graders, and 0.8% of 12th graders. In the past year, Heroin is abused by 0.3% 8th graders, 0.5% of 10th graders, and 0.5% of 12th graders. In the past month, Heroin has been abused by 0.1% of 8th graders, 0.2% of 10th graders, and 0.3% of 12th graders.

What should you do if someone needs help?

“You can help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at 1-800-662-HELP. You can also go to www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov. You can also find support groups, rehab centers, and companies that sell helpful tools to help you recover.”

What classification does your drug belong in?

Heroin is a Depressant, also known as a drug that puts you down. It slows down body functions.