Enforcement administration



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Powder 

Black Tar 

DRUG 


ENFORCEMENT 

ADMINISTRATION 

Heroin is an illegal and highly 

addictive drug. 

The Truth About 

Heroin 


What is heroin? 

• It is an opiate drug processed from morphine, 

a substance extracted from certain poppy plants. 

• It appears as a white or brownish powder or a 

black sticky substance, known as black tar heroin. 

Street Names 

Big H, Black Tar, H, Horse, Junk, Ska, Smack, Thunder 



How is it used? 

• It is injected with a needle, smoked or snorted. 



How does heroin affect your body? 

• Heroin enters the brain very quickly.  

• It is addictive both psychologically and physically. 

• It can depress breathing.  Overdoses can be fatal. 



What is the effect of using heroin? 

• Abusers report feeling a surge of euphoria followed 

by a state of sleep and wakefulness. 

    


• Those who inject heroin risk infectious diseases 

such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, liver or kidney disease. 

    


True or False? 

• Heroin is less dangerous if you snort or smoke it.   



   False.

 

   Fact: There is no safe way of using it.  You can 



still die from an overdose or become addicted 

by snorting or smoking it.

   

• Stopping heroin use is easy.   False.

 

   Fact: Withdrawal from heroin produces drug



 cravings, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, 

chills, nervousness, diarrhea, vomiting, and 

other symptons that usually last about a week, 

but may last for months. 

  

   


   

Did you know? 

• The vast majority of teens are not using heroin.  

In a 2013 national survey, only 0.6% used heroin 

in the past year. 

(Source:  University of Michigan, 2013 Monitoring 

the Future Study) 

   

   


     

• A large majority of teens think people risk 



harming themselves using heroin.  In a 2012 

national survey, 8 out of 10 think using heroin 

is very risky. 

(Source:  SAMHSA, 2012 National Survey on Drug Use 

and Health (NSDUH) 

   

   


   

• Recent trends indicate that heroin use is increasing

for persons 18 years of age and older.  The number 

of people reporting past year heroin use was almost 

two times greater in 2012 (669,000) than in 2007 

(373,000). 

(Source:  SAMHSA, 2012 National Survey on Drug Use 

and Health (NSDUH) 

   

   


   

• Reasons for the increase in heroin use and

 addiction may be due to the decrease in the use of 

prescription painkillers, as a result of changes in 

the OxyContin formulary, stricter laws, and costs. 

Heroin is cheaper and offers the same type of high.

(Source:  SAMHSA News Release, 8/22/13) 

  

   



   

 

   



     

For drug prevention information, visit DEA’s websites: 

JustThinkTwice.com 

dea.gov 

GetSmartAboutDrugs.com 

For parents, 

caregivers, 

and educators. 

For teens. 

1/2014 


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