Know the facts and connect with support to help you address known or suspected heroin use with your child.
Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from opium poppy plants—otherwise known as an ‘opioid.’ It is a ‘downer,’ or depressant, that affects the brain’s pleasure systems and interferes with the brain’s ability to perceive pain.
Also known as dope, junk, horse and smack among, other slang terms, heroin is a white to dark brown powder or tar-like substance. It used in a variety of ways, often injected into a vein or muscle, placed on tinfoil and inhaled as smoke through a straw or snorted as powder.
Heroin causes a surge of euphoria (“rush”) accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin and heavy limbs. Following this initial euphoria, a person goes “on the nod,” an alternately wakeful and drowsy state.
Signs of use include fatigue, slowed breathing, fading in and out of consciousness, flushed skin, nausea, vomitting and “track marks” from injection. If you’re concerned your child may be using heroin or other substances, the following can help you address the behavior and get them needed treatment.