Heroin

Heroin

Street Names

Heroin: Gear, Brown, China White, H, Horse, Harry, Skag, Smack. Junk

Appearance

Brownish or white powder. Sometimes in reddish brown lumps. Often ‘cut’ with other substances such as glucose powder.

Methods of Ingestion

Sometimes smoked in ‘joints’ (cigarettes), often the vapours are inhaled when burned on foil (chasing) often injected either intravenously or intramuscularly or under the skin (skin-popping).

Consequences of use

EFFECTS: When first taken heroin induces severe nausea and vomiting and subsequently a strong ‘rush’ or high. Opiates are quickly tolerated by the body and this results in increasing amounts of the drug needing to be taken in order to achieve the same effects. Injecting is comparatively more intoxicating than smoking the drug. Lowered libido, respiratory depression and ‘gouching’ (sleep like torpor) are common. Opiates may mask psychiatric symptoms.

Progress - National Consortium of Consultant Nurses in Dual Diagnosis & Substance Use