A Psychoactive Drug


Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium, "poppy." It looks like a white to dark brown powder or tar-like substance.


It is a depressant that affects the brain’s pleasure system by releasing endorphins and therefore interfering with the brain’s ability to perceive pain.

Slang and Street Names for Heroin:

  • Big H
  • Blacktar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Dope
  • Horse
  • Junk
  • Muc
  • Skag
  • Smac

How Heroin is Ingested:

Heroin is most often injected into the bloodstream through the use of an intravenous device such as a needle, which is known as "mainlining." It can also be injected into a muscle, smoked in a pipe, or snorted as powder through the nose.

Fact: Additives in heroin do not dissolve into the bloodstream. A blood clot can form and travel to the lungs, liver, heart or brain, which is instantly fatal.

Medicinal Use of Heroin:

Heroin is legally used to help people who suffer or have suffered from:

  • severe physical trauma or injury
  • post surgical pain
  • a heart attack
  • chronic pains of end stage cancer

How Heroin Alters Consciousness:

  • When injected, it reaches the brain in 15-30 seconds
  • When smoked, it reaches the brain in about 7 seconds
The "surge of pleasure" begins in the abdomen, and then a warm sensation spreads throughout the body. One's state of consciousness is altered with an intense feeling of euphoria and tranquillity. The brain can slip into a dreamy and relaxed state of contentment.

Short Term Effects of Heroin

Psychological Effects:

The mind is flooded with euphoric sensations and one feels at peace. The mind can only sense pleasure and happiness in the short term with heroin use.

Physiological Effects:

When using heroin, one forgets any bodily problems. The mind completely dominates over the body and it is often used as an escape for people who want to forget about their physical ailments.

Duration Effects:

These initial, short-term, intense feelings rarely last more than ten minutes.

Myth: Heroin is less dangerous when smoked or snorted.

Long Term Effects of Heroin:

Psychological Effects

Over time, the chemical imbalance in the brain affects your moods & emotions: a depletion in the production of brain endorphin levels gives heroin users a feeling of depression due to the body ceasing to produce its own naturally occurring endorphins.

Physiological Effects:

Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, and liver disease. As higher doses are used over time, physical dependence and addiction develop. Withdrawal, which in regular abusers may occur as early as a few hours after the last administration, produces drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps and kicking movements.

Duration Effects:

The sensations that heroin produces can last anywhere from a few minutes to just under an hour depending on one's personal tolerance to the drug, the method of ingestion, the amount used, and its purity. If a heroin addict stops ingesting it, then major withdrawal symptoms will peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and subside after about a week. However, sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users in poor health can be fatal.

Physical Dependence:

Heroin users will develop a physical need for heroin. Their bodies will not be able to function without the drug because it becomes accustomed to it. Without heroin, an addict will have severe sickness including vomiting, uncontrollable tremors, twitching, and overall detrimental physical effects.

Psychological Dependence:

Heroin users become addicted to the feeling of euphoria and invincibility. They long for the sensations of peace and total relaxation, and without it, real life becomes a world of depression because it cannot compare to the "high" feeling.


The video below may be disturbing to some viewers, but the overall message is very important and powerful.
Anti-heroin Ad