Heroin

Bayer Herion bottle

What is Heroin?

Heroin is the not only the most abused opiate, it is also illegal and very addictive.  Heroin is processed from morphine and is generally sold as a white or brownish powder.

How is heroin used?

Heroin is usually injected, sniffed/snorted, or smoked.  A heroin user will usually inject up to four times a day.  Intravenous injection causes the greatest high in the shortest amount of time; therefore, injection is the most common method of heroin use.

What are the short term effects of heroin use?

Heroin is especially addictive because of the short time that the chemical takes to cross the blood-brain barrier.  There is usually a pleasurable ‘rush’, accompanied by a skin flushing, dry mouth, and a ‘heavy feeling’.  There may also be nausea, vomiting, and itching.  Cardiac and respiratory functions also slow, sometimes to the point of death.

What are the long term effects of heroin use?

Because heroin is so addictive, one of the most detrimental effects of heroin use is just that: addiction.  Also very serious is the threat for HIV/AIDS due to the fact that users often inject the drug.  People who use heroin are also at risk for bacterial infections, abscesses, heart problems, arthritis, and collapsed veins.