Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs; it is derived from a natural opiate which contains morphine. Heroin is extremely addictive and casual use often quickly spirals into an addiction. Heroin is commonly known as smack, gear or brown. Heroin is usually injected straight into the veins in the arms or the legs but it may also be smoked or snorted.

Effects of heroin

Heroin relaxes the body and reduces the sensation of pain; it can produce a short ‘high’ which then gives way to an all-over feeling of relaxation. Heroin use causes withdrawal symptoms and cravings when the person stops using heroin; these are often so nasty that people become addicted and resort to anything to find their next fix. Heroin overdoses can result in death because they cause respiratory failure; heroin is particularly dangerous if mixed with alcohol or other types of drug (people who drink and take heroin are likely to choke on their own vomit which may result in death.) Long term abuse of heroin can cause infections, such as HIV and hepatitis that caused by dirty needles, as well as organ failure and severe damage to the blood vessels.

Guide to Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse Intro




Drug addiction the implications





Long term effects of drug abuse

Short term effects of drug use


Spotting the signs of drug abuse

Support for people with drug dependencies