Psychoactive Drug Smore: Heroin

By: Alex Torcia

Part I

1) Description of the drug, including its chemical makeup

-Heroin is very addictive and is a powerful painkiller and is illegal

- “semi- synthetic opioid drug synthesized from morphine”

-Medical name= diamorphine

-Chemical compound of Heroin:

drug name: Diacetylmorphine Hydrochloride

Chemical formula: C21H23NO5HCl

2) Classification of the drug

-It is a schedule I drug

3) Slang terms and the street names for the drug

Smack, junk, brown sugar, horse, mud, black tar, big H, dope, skag, ect..

4) Ways to ingest the drug

It can be smoked, injected using a needle (most common use), or snorted/ inhaled

5) Similar drugs with the same effects

OxyCotin, Vicodin, Codeine, Morphine, Methadone and Fentanyl

6) Medical use of the drug

A pain killer (made from morphine)

7) Effects

a) Psychological effects of the brain

-when it enters the body it is converted back to morphine and binds to molecules on the opioid receptors

-opioid receptors are involved in the perception of pain and reward and are also found on the brainstem which controls automatic behaviors (breathing, blood pressure) that are important for survival (why affects could be fatal)

-use changes function of brain (gain tolerance and dependence to heroin)

b) Physiological effects on the rest of the body

-enters brain rapidly so consequences are addiction and your body needs more of the heroin to function and higher doses could be fatal

-cause: drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils, nausea, warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and death

-HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis

c) Duration of effects

-the high and the feeling of a rush followed by sleepiness, then wakefulness and a warm feeling could last up to 8 hours depending on the person and the amount you use

-the physical effects can be lifelong like HIV and death

8) Dependence (psychological and physical)

Since the drug is so addictive your brain develops a high dependence of the drug making your body need more and more doses of heroin at a time. Effects of high doses of heroin include shallow breathing (physical), this is why it could be fatal in extreme doses, and clouded mental function (psychological)

9) A myth or something that is not true about your drug

Myth: Heroin users have injection marks on their skin and are homeless poor people

Fact: Heroin can be smoked and snorted and the people who do inject it usually do it in areas that people can’t see. Also, heroin affects all social groups because it is really easy to get.

10) Information about the risks and harmful effects associated with your drug (statistics about your age group, ect.)

-While heroin is not as common among teens than other drugs, numbers among high schoolers have been moving over the past 4 years

-There are roughly about 15 million high schoolers and translating the percentages that is about 200,000 teens that have tried heroin!

-Teenagers don’ t have to go through a lot of effort in order to get the drug

-Effects can be very deadly

Part II

-->Anti- Drug Message (facts, images, links)

-Anti-Drug Slogans: hugs not drugs, shoot for the stars not your arm, Too smart to start, get high on life not drugs

- This link explains the reasons why you should not use drugs (effects)

- This link focuses on teen drug abuse and how parents could stop it

Drug Free is the way to be!