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Drug factfile

Get educated on the basics

Heroin

Heroin

Heroin is an extremely addictive drug derived from the poppy, like other opiates such as morphine. Due to its nature as a painkiller, heroin can make people forget about their problems and feel more comfortable. Sustained use can lead to blood-born viruses, vein and tissue damage, respiratory depression and fatal overdose.

What else is it called?

Junk, scag, brown, smack

What does it look like?

Pale brown powder

What is its legal status?

Class A

How much does it cost?

‘Wraps’ – one dose – cost from £10. This lasts for about four hours.

What equipment do people use to take it?

Silver foil (for smoking), syringes (for injecting), spoons, cigarette filters, wraps. Heroin users can get safe injecting packs from drug addiction agencies, which may include harm reduction equipment like clean syringes, citric acid sachets (which help dissolve heroin for injecting) and sharps boxes for safe disposal of used needles.

What about dependence/addiction?

Heroin is extremely physically addictive, and the fact that it helps to block out problems makes it psychologically addictive too. Flu-like withdrawal symptoms can kick in within 24 hours.