Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant

What does it look like?

Heroin comes in different forms, including fine white powder; coarse off-white granules or tiny pieces of light brown ‘rock’.

Slang names  Smack, gear, hammer, the dragon, H, dope, junk, harry, horse, black tar, white dynamite, homebake, china white, Chinese H, poison, Dr Harry

How is it used?

Heroin is usually injected into a vein, but it’s also smoked (‘chasing the dragon’) and added to cigarettes and cannabis. The effects are usually felt straight away. The effects take around 10 to 15 minutes if snorted.

Visible signs of potential use of heroin
The below effects will last for 3 to 5 hours after consumption:

  • Intense pleasure and pain relief

  • Relaxation, drowsiness and clumsiness

  • Confusion

  • Slurred and slow speech

  • Slow breathing and heartbeat

  • Dry mouth

  • Tiny pupils

  • Reduced appetite and vomiting

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Falling asleep

  • Wanting to urinate but finding it hard to

  • Itchiness

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Cold, clammy skin

  • Slow breathing, blue lips and fingertips

  • Passing out

Please note the effects listed in this information do not automatically indicate that a person is under the influence of illicit drugs. This is only a guide to the possibility.