Made from the white, milky liquid exuded from the opium poppy, heroin is a powerful and dangerous drug which is often injected directly into the bloodstream with a needle. When injected, heroin reaches the brain in just 7 or 8 seconds. Using heroin for even a short time can create physical and psychological dependence. In large doses, heroin can cause breathing to become shallow or to stop all together.

Physical and Psychological Effects

The addiction to heroin is a difficult one to break, even when it is destroying the user's health and life. The intense craving for heroin can be both physical and mental. For the user, it becomes a way of life. Every day centers around getting and using heroin.

After continued use, more and more heroin is needed to achieve the same effects. This results in a very costly habit. Once addicted, a user must have heroin every 8 to 12 hours. Withdrawal symptoms include fevers, chills, nausea, aching, diarrhea and muscle spasms. Most symptoms last for 3 to 5 days.

Physical Risks

Social Risks

Mental Health and Behavior Risks

Legal Risks

Unlike some similar drugs, heroin is considered too dangerous even for medical use. Using or selling heroin is against the law. Offenders usually go to jail.