Also known as: Black tar, Brown sugar, H, Horse, Junk, Ska, Skunk, Smack, and White Horse.
Heroin is a drug that comes from a flower, the opium poppy, which usually grows in Mexico, Asia, and South America. It’s very addictive and has been illegal in the United States since 1924. FEATURED HEROINE Akari Shiratori is the golden idol warrior, a member of the unit KariKari and miracle2. Hikari's older sister, she transforms into the golden warrior with her Rhythms Alm. The definition of a heroine is a female who is noted for her courage or is the female main character in a movie or a book who everyone likes and admires. An example of a heroine is a woman who saves children from a burning building. An example of a heroine is Wonder Woman.
What is heroin?
Heroin is a very addictive drug made from morphine, a psychoactive (mind-altering) substance taken from the resin of the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Heroin’s color and look depend on how it is made and what else it may be mixed with. It can be white or brown powder, or a black, sticky substance called “black tar heroin.”
Heroin is part of a class of drugs called opioids. Other opioids include some prescription pain relievers, such as codeine, oxycodone (OxyContin), and hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin).
Heroin use and overdose deaths have dramatically increased over the last decade. This increase is related to the growing number of people misusing prescription opioid pain relievers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Some people who become addicted to those drugs switch to heroin because it produces similar effects but is cheaper and easier to get.
In fact, most people who use heroin report they first misused prescription opioids, but it is a small percentage of people who switch to heroin. The numbers of people misusing prescription drugs is so high, that even a small percentage translates to hundreds of thousands of heroin users.1 Even so, some research suggests about one-third of heroin users in treatment simply started with heroin. Maybe they were mistakenly told that only one use cannot lead to addiction. Both heroin and opioid pill use can lead to addiction and overdose.
How Heroin is Used
Heroin is mixed with water and injected with a needle. It can also be sniffed, smoked, or snorted. People who use heroin sometimes combine it with other drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine (a “speedball”), which can be particularly dangerous and raise the risk of overdose.
To learn more about the different types of opioids, visit our Prescription Opioids Drug Facts page.
1 Compton WM, Jones CM, Baldwin GT. Relationship between nonmedical prescription-opioid use and heroin use. The New England Journal of Medicine 2016;374:154-163.
What happens to your brain when you use heroin?
When heroin enters the brain, it attaches to molecules on cells known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain and body, especially areas involved in the perception of pain and pleasure, as well as a part of the brain that regulates breathing.
Short-term effects of heroin include a rush of good feelings and clouded thinking. These effects can last for a few hours, and during this time people feel drowsy, and their heart rate and breathing slow down. When the drug wears off, people experience a depressed mood and often crave the drug to regain the good feelings.
Regular heroin use changes the functioning of the brain. Using heroin repeatedly can result in:
- tolerance: more of the drug is needed to achieve the same “high”
- dependence: the need to continue use of the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms
- addiction: a devastating brain disease where, without proper treatment, people have trouble stopping using drugs even when they really want to and even after it causes terrible consequences to their health and other parts of their lives. Because of changes to how the brain functions after repeated drug use, people that are addicted crave the drug just to feel “normal.”
Learn more about how the brain works and what happens when a person uses drugs. And, check out how the brain responds to natural rewards and to drugs.
Heroin is the common name for the psychoactive drug, diacetylmorphine. It can be smoked, sniffed, inserted rectally or injected. Pirate bay mac.
Heroin is processed from morphine, which is a naturally occurring substance extracted from opium poppy plants. The opium poppy has been cultivated for more than five thousand years for a wide variety of medicinal uses, most notably as an analgesic used in the treatment of pain.
It was first synthesized from morphine in 1874 and marketed by Bayer, the German pharmaceutical company, as a cough suppressant and “non-addictive” morphine substitute until it was made it illegal in the U.S. in 1924. Heroin is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that the federal government has determined that it has no currently accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse.
People who use heroin describe a feeling of warmth, relaxation and detachment, with a lessening sense of anxiety. It is a powerful sedative, and due to its analgesic qualities, physical and emotional aches and pains can also be diminished.
These effects appear quickly and can last for several hours, depending on the dosage and the mode of administration. When it is injected or smoked, it is quickly introduced into the bloodstream and leads to an instant rush of euphoric pleasure.
In addition to pain relief and sedation, heroin use can also lead to constipation, nausea and respiratory depression, which causes shallow breathing, lowered blood pressure and reduced heart rate. Prolonged use can lead to physical dependence. Some people who use heroin do so because this physical dependence means that if they stop using heroin, they will experience severe withdrawal symptoms that will make them physically sick. Many others continue using heroin because it provides a feeling of comfort and safety.