Street names

Smack, H, horse, brown, gear, scag

What is it?

Heroin is an opiate derived from the opium poppy. It is a central nervous system depressant which means that it reduces the activity of the brain, the nervous system and some of the vital organs in the body such as the heart and lungs. It is an emotional and physical pain killer.

Heroin is usually brown in appearance and can be smoked or injected. It is sold in ‘bags’ or ‘wraps’ costing approximately £10.


  • The effects of heroin last approximately 4-6 hours
  • A small dose of heroin gives the user a feeling of warmth and well-being, bigger doses can make the user sleepy and very relaxed
  • The first dose of heroin can bring about dizziness and vomiting


  • Heroin has a high potential for overdose
  • Heroin is highly addictive and people can quickly get hooked
  • Injecting drug users can be at risk of developing blood borne viruses, damaged veins, blood clots and abscesses
  • Heroin almost always contains contaminants and there is a risk of reacting to these