Heroin is an opioid that is most commonly used for its euphoric effects. Other slang terms used to describe heroin are smack, horse, brown sugar, junk, skunk, black tar, big H, dope, skag, Negra, white horse, china white, Chiva, hell dust or thunder, etc.
Heroin is a popular drug in the United States. However, consuming Heroin is a risky act. There are some crucial facts about the Heroin that every parent and teen should know. Let’s have a look.
Quick Facts about Heroin for Teens and Parents
- Heroin and Brain: Heroin instantly enters your brain and slows down your thinking, reaction time, and memory. Over time, Heroin can change the way your brain responds and this can lead to addiction.
- Heroin and Body: Heroin can slow down your breathing and heartbeat to such an extent that it can be fatal. HIV, Hepatitis B, and C and other serious diseases can occur in people who inject Heroin through needles.
- Heroin and Addiction: With the ability to quickly enter the brain, Heroin can cause a fast and intense high. The chances of developing an addiction are great and sometimes addicts continue the abuse even with negative consequences.
- Heroin is not always as it seems: Heroin often has other substances added to it. They can affect the blood leading to liver, lungs, kidneys, and even brain inflammation or infection. Heroin in powder form can have fentanyl that can increase the risk for a fatal overdose.
- Heroin can kill you: The reduction in breath due to Heroin can often lead to death. In 2015, for people aged between 15 and 24, there were 2343 overdose deaths due to Heroin.
Good news is that heroin addiction is highly treatable. Combined with behavioral therapy and medication, people can recover from their addiction. Having supportive friends and family can also increase your chances of recovery. Medications such as buprenorphine, methadone, and naloxone can immensely increase your chances of recovery.
Some common questions
Q: Is it true that Heroin is not that risky if you smoke or snort it instead of injecting it?
A: Absolutely not. Heroin is a dangerous substance in whatever form you take it. In the case of injecting, you have several other harmful results to worry about. Whether you snort or smoke, you can still die from an overdose. Heroin mixed with fentanyl or other synthetic opioids can greatly increase the chances of death.
Q: What does Heroin look like?
A: Heroin can be a white or dark brown powder or a black tar. People that sell Heroin often mix it with other additives such as starch, sugar, or other dangerous chemicals. Pure Heroin even without any additives is still highly dangerous.
Q: Will Heroin alter my brain?
A: Yes. Your brain circuits of reward, stress, decision-making, and impulse control are severely damaged with Heroin. That is why it is difficult to stop Heroin abuse even when your life is facing serious negative consequences. Too much use can lead to tolerance withdrawal that means you need more drugs to feel normal.
How to tell if a friend is using Heroin?
The signs and symptoms of Heroin use are:
- Impaired mental Functioning
- Slowed movement and breath
- Needle Marks
Signs of Heroin overdose are:
- Clammy skin
- Shallow Breathing
- Bluish colored nails and lips
- Extremely Small Pupils
Consider these before you consume Heroin
- Know the Law: Heroin is completely illegal and has no medical use.
- Get the facts: Any method of consuming Heroin, whether through snorting, smoking, swallowing, injecting, etc can cause instant harm, overdose, and death.
- Know the risks: Heroin use can change the brain and these changes cannot be easily reversed.
- Look around you: You are not missing out! According to a study conducted in 2015, the majority of teens are not using Heroin. Only 1 out of 1000 adults between 12-17 age group were reported as Heroin users.
Heroin is illegal, addictive, and highly dangerous. It can lead to addiction and even death. If you have any questions about Heroin, you should consult your doctor, consultant or any other guardian to stay safe from the harm Heroin brings.
Prevention and Early Intervention with Teens is the Key
BoardPrep Recovery Center® provides expert advice and treatment for heroin use disorders and addiction. BoardPrep’s services include an early intervention program for high school-age teens who may be showing early signs of substance use. Contact a professional at BoardPrep today by calling 866.796.4720 to find out more facts about heroin.