Articles in Category: Heroin

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an illicit and extremely addictive substance obtained from morphine, a naturally occurring substance found in opium. Generally, it is two to three times more potent. Heroin mainly affects the central nervous system, often providing the user with feelings ranging from euphoria to relief from pain. Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste. Illicit heroin is sold as a white or brownish powder and usually contains additives like sugar and cornstarch among others. It may also contain strychnine or other poisons. Because illicit heroin is rarely pure and dosage is not often calculated, users are generally at risk of overdose or death. Heroin also comes in the form of what is known as "black tar". Often it has the texture of roofing tar, or coal. Heroin may also be referred to as horse, smack, black tar, skag and H. Heroin overdose is very common; it usually results from snorting, smoking or injecting the drug. Heroin is often injected intravenously because it produces a high much quicker than smoking or sniffing it. Although injection of heroin is the most popular method of use it carries far greater risks than other methods of administration due to needle sharing and use of dirty needles. Such use results in transmission of HIV and Hepatitis B.