Definitions and Symptoms
Heroin is an addictive drug, and its use is a serious problem in America. Recent studies suggest a shift from injecting heroin to snorting or smoking because of increased purity and the misconception that these forms are safer.
Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Street names for heroin include "smack," "H," "skag," and "junk."
- Respiratory depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Increased risk of having infections
- Increased risk of intrauterine death, stillbirth, low birth weight and opiate withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Psychological Effects of Intravenous Injection:
- Swelling, inflammation (Cellulitis)
- Sores (Pustules)
- Inflammation/veins (Vasculitis)
- Blood clot (Thrombosis)
- Enlarged, inflamed weak heart (Endocarditis)
- Hepatitis B, C and HIV can be transmitted through sharing of needles or syringes.