Street names: Henry, Horse, Scag, Smack, Brown, Puff, Dope


Similar drugs: Morphine, Methadone.


Drug type: Depressant


Is Heroin illegal in the UK?


Legal status: Heroin is an illegal class A drug. You could go to prison for seven years for possessing it and get life for dealing it, plus receive a hefty fine.


What is Heroin? Where does it come from?


What is it? Heroin facts: Heroin comes from opium, which is found in poppy plants. British street heroin tends to come in varying shades of powder, from off-white to reddish brown.


The drug comes as a powder, which you normally smoke or prepare for injection. You can snort or swallow it too.


What does Heroin do to you?


What are the effects of Heroin? At first you might feel euphoric, relaxed and warm. Heroin can take away physical and emotional pain. It's a sedative, so it will slow down your heart rate and breathing, making you appear drowsy.


Heroin can cause nausea, sickness and constipation.


Withdrawal from heroin may bring on unpleasant flu like symptoms including nausea, muscle cramps and sweating.


The risks: Heroin is very addictive, and can take over your life. Users often get into debt or steal to fund their habit. They tend to have a chaotic life which badly affects their general health, nutrition, personal relationships and ability to keep accommodation.


Injecting heroin is risky - you could get a disease from a dirty needle (such as HIV or hepatitis), damage your veins or get an abscess.

Heroin image courtesy of Talk to Frank, Crown Copyright.