Heroin Facts (Smack)
Street Terms: Smack, thunder, hell dust, big H, nose drops, H, ska, junk, skag
What is It?
Heroin is a highly addictive white or brown powder or brown sticky tar made from opium poppies. Users may snort, smoke or inject it. Heroin is a depressant. It enters the brain, where it is converted to morphine and binds to receptors known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain that deal with pain but also within the brain stem — important for automatic processes critical for life, such as breathing, and blood pressure. Heroin overdoses frequently involve a suppression of respiration
Heroin withdrawal may occur within a few hours after the last time the drug is taken. Symptoms of withdrawal include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps ("cold turkey"), and involuntary leg movements.
Warm flushing of the skin / Dry mouth / Heavy feeling in the extremities / Nausea / Vomiting / Severe itching / Clouded mental functions / Infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis (from injection needles) / Collapsed veins / Infection of the heart lining and valves / Abscesses at the injection location / Liver or kidney disease / Clogged blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage to vital organs / Arthritis and other rheumatologic problems (usually due to contaminants in injected heroin) / Fatal overdose - reduced heart rate and breathing, sometimes to the point of death