Syracuse UniversityCounseling Center

Heroin

Heroin (also known as dope, junk, smack and H) is a powerful opiate pain-killer that produces euphoria and blissful apathy. It is known for leading to addiction and difficult physical withdrawal symptoms. 

Ingestion

Heroin can be taken orally, though it is typically snorted, smoked or injected. Intravenous injection has the greatest intensity and most rapid onset of euphoria (7 to 8 seconds), while intramuscular injection produces a relatively slow onset of euphoria (5 to 8 minutes). There are several risks associated with injection. When heroin is sniffed or smoked, peak effects are usually felt within 10 to 15 minutes. Although smoking and sniffing heroin do not produce a “rush” as quickly or as intensely as intravenous injection, all three forms of heroin administration are addictive.

Effects

Heroin is a fast-acting opiate which results in a suppression of pain. When it’s injected, there is a surge of euphoria that arrives within seconds. Those using the drug other ways may not feel this surge as sharply.

Other characteristic effects include dry mouth, flushed skin, constricted pupils, itching, nausea and vomiting, constipation, feelings of heaviness and dopiness, fading in and out of wakefulness, slowed breathing, memory loss, unclear thinking, and deteriorated decision-making and self-control. 


Resources for additional information:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/

https://www.samhsa.gov/