Psychoactive Drug: Heroin

Shae Eldridge

What is Heroin?

A highly addictive drug, heroin is derived from morphine, which comes from the opium poppy.

It is a depressant drug that affects the brain's pleasure systems and blocks the brain's ability to feel pain.

Slang Terms

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

Ways to Ingest the Drug

Federal Classification: Schedule I

How does Heroin alter consciousness?

Heroin moves quickly to the brain, thus making it highly addictive, and it suppresses breathing, thus increasing the chances of overdose.

Short Term Effects

Heroin acts quickly,so its short-term effects on the body happen quickly. After one injection, the user can experience:

  • a surge of euphoria
  • flushing of skin
  • dry mouth
  • heavy extremities
  • alternating alert and drowsy states
  • mental functioning is clouded due to depressed central nervous system
  • slow, slurred speech
  • slow gait
  • constricted pupils
  • droopy eyelids
  • vomiting

Long Term Effects

Regular use of heroin with destroy the body. Common conditions include:

  • infection of heart lining and valves
  • liver disease
  • lung disease
  • hepatitis
  • physical dependence and addiction develop
  • tolerance develops; user must intake more heroin to experience a high

Heroin Documentary 2013: A Deadly Dance


When a heroin abuser develops dependence on the drug, the symptoms of that dependence can be seen during withdrawal. Most users experience symptoms of physical dependence.


restlessness, muscle and bone pain, cold flashes with goose bumps, and kicking movements


drug cravings, insomnia

Myth: Heroin is less dangerous when smoked or snorted

Heroin is highly addictive no matter how it is ingested. However, when smoked or snorted, the risk of contracting HIV or AIDS is reduced due to the lack of needle sharing.

Medicinal Uses:

Can be used to treat severe pain because, once in the body, it turns to morphine