Heroin Information and Resources
Heroin, or diacetylmorphine, is among the most dangerous and addictive illicit drugs known to man. Produced from the morphine of poppy plants, heroin supplies an intense, warm, and relaxing high that many users compare to some of life's greatest pleasures. It is not just the high that keeps heroin addicts coming back, but also a physical dependence that can lead to grueling withdrawal symptoms when heroin use is ceased. Whether it's from fear of withdrawal symptoms or a love of the high it provides, heroin addiction continues to devastate millions of people worldwide.
As with other opioids, heroin (diacetylmorphine, also diamorphine) is used as both a pain killer and a recreational drug of abuse. Frequent administration produces tolerance and physical dependence which often develops into full-blown addiction. Internationally, diacetylmorphine is controlled under Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, or sell diacetylmorphine without a license in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iran, India, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
Heroin is a powerful opiate refined from naturally occurring morphine extracted from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Abuse of the drug is a serious public health problem in the United States. Major health problems that can result from heroin abuse include miscarriages, heart infections and death from overdose. People who inject the drug also risk infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.” Its most common routes of administration include injection, smoking and snorting.
Heroin is a highly addictive drug and is the most widely abused illicit opiate in the United States. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the opium poppy plant. According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 3.8 million Americans aged 12 or older reported trying heroin at least once during their lifetimes, representing 1.5% of the population aged 12 or older. Approximately 453,000 (0.2%) reported past year heroin use and 213,000 (0.1%) reported past month heroin use.
Heroin is one of the most commonly used addictive drugs in existence, and one of the most difficult substances of abuse from which to detox. With chronic use, heroin addicts become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug, and withdrawal is an excruciating process. People suffering from heroin addiction must undergo a medically monitored detoxification program to minimize discomfort while the drug is withdrawn from the user's system. A effective heroin detox program is an essential first step in recovering from heroin addiction.