Heroin
(Smack, H, Skag, Junk, Mexican Black Tar)

A white or brown powder derived from morphine, which is derived from the seed-pod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs known to man and is one of the largest causes of illegal-drug-related deaths. It often takes a single dose to become dependent on the drug. It is smoked, snorted or injected. Most teen users buy heroin concealed in antihistamine capsule, break them open and snort the contents. Snorting and smoking has become more popular today, because heroin today is much more pure and potent, and because some people wrongfully believe it is less addictive or harmful when taken this way.

Possible Positives

  • An instant rush of euphoria, with a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth, and a feeling of having heavy arms and legs.
  • The then goes "on the nod," alternating between wakefulness and drowsiness. The central nervous system is slowed producing clouded judgment and slowed thinking. This second state wears off after a few hours.

Possible Negatives

  • Clouded judgement
  • Dry mouth
  • Pulmonary edema: fluid filling the lungs
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Easily overdosed
  • Collapsed veins
  • Spontaneous abortion
  • Infection of the heart valves
  • Infection of the heart lining
  • Abscesses: open sores caused by bacterial infection
  • Liver disease
  • Cellulitis: infection of the skin and underlying tissues
  • Pneumonia
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Infection of the lungs, liver, kidneys or brain
  • AIDS and Hepatitis transferred from reused needles
  • Highly addictive from a single use
  • Death

Related Info

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and National Hotline
Treatment & referrals
www.samhsa.gov/csat/csat.htm
1-800-662-4357

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
www.health.org
1-800-729-6686

Narcotics Anonymous World Service Office in Los Angeles
An international, community-based association, holding weekly meetings for recovering drug addicts.
(818) 773-9999 To locate your local chapter
www.na.org/links-toc.htm

Alcoholics Anonymous
Group support for your addiction to alcohol
www.alcoholics-anonymous.org

Alcoholics Anonymous Family Group Headquarters
Group support for those with family members who suffer from alcoholism
www.al-anon-alateen.org

American Cancer Society Information on quitting smoking
www.cancer.org
1-800-227-2345

Smoking, Tobacco and Health Information Line
1-800-232-1311

Tips 4 Teens - Stop Smoking Help
www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/osh/tipsteen.htm