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Heroin Facts

by Mahayla P. & Alicia R.

  • Other names for Heroin- smack, mud, dope, horse, junk, brown sugar, big H, black tar, boy, china white, dragon, gear and skag
  • What type of drug?- Heroin is a downer if afects the brain's ability to receive pain. Highly addictive derived from morphine, which is staind from opium poppy
  • What does it look like?- It's white to dark brown powder or a tar like substance
  • How is it used?- It can be injected into veins or muscles. Smoked in a water pipe or standard pipe, mixed in marijuana joints or regular cigarettes, inhaled as smoke through a straw, or snorted as powder through the nose.
  • What are short term effects?- Warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, depression of the central nervous system, slurred speech, constricted pupils, droopy eyelids, impaired night vision, drug craving, restlessness, insomnia, muscle & bone pain, vomiting, constipation and dry & itching skin
  • What are its long-term effects?- Addiction, collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, respriratory depression or failure, absesses, cellulite, liver disease, pulmonary complications including pneumonia, clogging of the blood vessels, cold flashes w/ goose bumps, involuntary kicking movements



  • History of the drug and its use/ where did it originate?- Heroin has a very long history of use throughtout the world. It is thought that the arab traders during the 7th and 8th century Ad took opium was taken by all classes in the form of pills or laudanum. Laudanum is opium dissolved in alchohol. In 1874 heroin was created to be a cure for those addicted to morphine. With the intention of being a safe, non-addictive substitute for morphine, heroin fell short of its expectations. Soon it was noted the heroin produced addiction exceptionally quickly in many and was made illegal in 1920.
  • How common is the drug in the U.S. and what social groups ten to use it?-

The 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) estimated that there were 149,000 new heroin users in 1998 and that nearly 80% of them were under the age of 26

Over 80% of heroin users inject w/ a partner, yet 80% of overdose victims found by paramedics are found alone.

Last year, there were approximately 84,000 visits to emergency rooms in the U.S. due to heroin

In the 25 and 49 age group, illicit drug overdose is the forth leading casue of death, about the same number as in motor vehicle crashes

In 1998, 65% of the heroin seized in the United States originated in South America and another 17% came from Mexico

The average heroin addict spends between $100-$200 a day to support their heroin addiction

Current estimates suggest that nearly 600,000 people need treatment for heroin addiction

Between 1991 and 1996 youths agad 12 to 17 heroin related episodes nearly quadrupled

  • Rank its addictivness to the user: 9-10
  • How was it developed or how it is made?-  Heroin is produced in a wide verity of colors and strenghts. The varying colors of heroin are due to the additional dsubstances that it is cute with. Many illicit drug are "cut" or diluted to provide more profit for the drug dealer wguke decreasubg tge ourity to the user. it is important to know that many drugsm such as heroin are cut w/ harmful poisons. This in turn is one reason why there are many deathes due to drug overdose; the user can never predict the strength of the drug they just bough. An example of what brown heroin might be cute with includes: cocoa powder, brown sugar, or face makeup. White heroin might be cute with milk powder or procaine. There are several ways that heroin is packaged and sold to the "retail" user. One way is that it is enclosed in packets of wax paper envelopes known as bindles. Another way is that the heroin is put inside gelatin capsules. Lastly, it many are sold in small balloons or plastic zipper baggys.
  • Describe why someone would use this?- When injected intravenously the user experiences what is considered to be the fastest and best "high" from heroin. The high that the user feels takes place within only 7 tp 8 seconds after injection and up to 10-15 minutes after inhaling or smoking heroin.

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