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FAQ About Heroin

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

Medically reviewed by

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

February 4, 2019

Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug derived from morphine, which is procured from the Asian opium plant. It’s often used illegally to get high and can lead to serious withdrawals, overdose, and even death. Learn more about the deadly drug Heroin in this detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Guide.

If you have found yourself here, you’re on the right path. Dealing with a heroin addiction can be difficult, confusing; and without help, finding treatment can seem like a losing battle. Heroin use can have dangerous consequences, and it can turn a person you love into to somebody that you don’t even know. Heroin addiction can make good people do bad things, and it can take lives away before their time.

Many of the questions and answers listed here can guide you to a better understanding of what heroin is, and what you or your loved one might be going through. Addiction is no walk in the park, and we understand that–which is why we have dedicated our lives to helping people. Contact us today if you have any more questions about heroin. Together, heroin addiction is a battle that we can win.

General Questions

Q: What Is The Definition Of Heroin?

A: Heroin is a white, crystalline, narcotic powder which is a type of Morphine derived from the Asian opium poppy seed plant. It was formerly used as an analgesic and sedative: manufacture and importation of heroin are now controlled by federal law in the U.S. because of the danger of addiction. Heroin can be white or brown powder, or black substance.

As explained on the Drug Free World. “Heroin” was named by Bayer, and was created to be used as a less addictive painkiller than morphine.

Q: What Are Some Common Names For Heroin?

A: Other common names for heroin include:

  • Smack
  • Dope
  • Junk
  • H.
  • Black Tar
  • Birdie Powder
  • Dragon
  • Hero
  • China White
  • Black Pearl
  • Brown Sugar
  • Witch Hazel
  • Chiva
  • Mexican Horse
  • Pluto
  • Mud
  • Horse
  • Skunk

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Q: What Drug Class Is Heroin?

A: Heroin is an opioid drug derived from Morphine, which is made from the Asian opium poppy plant.

Q: What Schedule Drug As Heroin?

A: Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug; therefore, it has no medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration: “Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five (5) distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential.”

Q: What Do Heroin Addicts Look Like?

A: The indication of heroin use can seem pretty obvious: Holes or “tracks-marks” in the skin, perhaps constant exhaustion, and “nodding out,” but what if a person is shooting the drug into their legs, or between their toes, and what if they aren’t constantly tired? A heroin addict will typically have constricted pupils for several hours after last use, and may even exhibit breathing problems.

A person suffering from heroin addiction will usually suffer from severe weight loss, and may be unkempt, unshaven or showered. He or she does not worry about personal hygiene, but this isn’t necessarily true for all heroin addicts. Some of the other physical symptoms and common complaints to look for in a heroin addict are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Weakened immune system
  • Constipation, dehydration, itching, and vomiting
  • Kidney and bladder inflammation
  • Have pain in muscles and bones

A person who becomes addicted to heroin might also:

  • Frequently feel cold, or dress in layers when it isn’t necessary.
  • Throw up regularly, and complain about stomach discomfort.
  • Suffer from insomnia and not be able to sleep.
  • Feel nervous or anxious–and experience sudden bouts of fear and panic.

Q: What Is It Like To Be A Heroin Addict?

A: Being addicted to heroin is no walk in the park. There can be unbearable withdrawals when the drug isn’t available. The craving that a heroin addict deals with can be painful, and intense. On the average day for a person suffering from a heroin addiction, they may experience hot and cold flashes–nausea and vomiting–exile from their community and families for theft or drug use. They might not be trusted by anyone in their life, and a day in a heroin addict’s shoes can be one of the darkest, loneliest, and scariest days imaginable.

Q: What Ingredients Are In Heroin?

A: The short answer is that heroin is produced by boiling down a Asian opium poppy flower with lime–the drugs are then scraped from the cooking container. The largest amount of alkaloids are morphine and codeine.

Identifying Heroin

Q: What Does Heroin Look Like?

A: Heroin is a white or brown powder, or sticky black substance. Heroin can also be found in a rock form of the same colors. Heroin can usually be found stored in the corner of a plastic baggy, a deflated balloon, or in 1 inch zip lock bag. When heroin use is prevalent, some of the things to look for are hidden needles, burnt spoons and/or aluminum foil, cups with dirty water in them, and unexplainable syringes.

Q: What Does Heroin Taste Like?

A: The long and short answer for that are heroin tastes like vinegar; however, because the drug can be laced with so many different elements such as, sugar, starch, fentanyl, and acetaminophen, the taste can also vary based on what it mixed with the drug.

Q: What Does Heroin Smell Like?

A: Though pure heroin is usually odorless, most street heroin has been mixed or “cut” with other substances such as acetaminophen, sugar, or starch. It depends on where you are, and where the drug is being imported from; American heroin (which typically comes from Mexico) can smell like vinegar, whereas European heroin can smell like opium or incense.

Q: What Does Black Tar Heroin Look Like?

A: Black tar heroin usually looks like a polished piece of coal or flint stone, though it’s much less concentrated, has a sticky residue, and appears to be a solid stone. It is usually cut down to much smaller pieces for use. Some of the things that can be left behind, and can be a clear flag for black tar heroin use are burnt spoons, because the drug must be melted down to a liquid form before it can be injected. Black tar heroin can also be laced with other smokable materials.

Q: What Is The Difference Between Cocaine And Heroin?

A: There are many differences to Heroin and Cocaine–Perhaps the most obvious is that cocaine comes from the coca plant and heroin is derived from the Asian opium poppy plant. While both drugs are illegal, they can have different effects on a person. Cocaine is categorized as a stimulant, while heroin is neither stimulant nor depressant; it is categorized as an opiate.

Q: What Does Heroin Look Like In Rock Form?

A: In rock form, heroin looks like chunks of gravel or sandstone. The color can range from pure white, to tan, to a dark chocolatey brown. Typically a rock of heroin is no bigger than a nickle.

Q: What Does A Heroin Needle Look Like?

A: A heroin needle usually isn’t very big–typically they’re a ½ cc syringe, a 28 gauge, and a ½ inch needle.

Q: What Does Street Heroin Look Like?

A: Street heroin can come in many colors and containers, it can be a powder or a rock. Heroin is sold on the street in 1 inch zip-lock baggies, corners of sandwich bags, balloons, and small vials. Street heroin is typically the same as any other heroin–it has just been weakened from its pure state.

Q: What Is China White Heroin?

A: China white is a nearly pure form of heroin that is highly sought after for its strength.

Q: What Is The Difference Between Opium And Heroin?

A: Opium and heroin can start as the same flower–the Asian opium poppy. The difference is the way the drug is procured from the flower. Opium is a lot easier to get than heroin, and is essentially collected by scraping the seepage off of a cut poppy. Opium is a natural occurring drug from the poppy, containing many alkaloids–including morphine and codeine.

Heroin is one of the alkaloids taken from the poppy, and turns to morphine once inside the body. Heroin is harder to produce, but after removing the milky, white substance reaped from the poppy plant, it is refined into morphine, and finally administered into varying forms of heroin.

Q: What Does Someone High On Heroin Look Like?

A: The most common sign of heroin use is shrunken pupils. Pupils contract and dilate with light or lack of light, so if a person has tiny pupils in a dark room, they’re either on drugs, or sick. The eyes can tell everyone’s secrets, even if their words tell another story. The next thing to look for in a person you suspect to be high on heroin is if they nod in and out of consciousness. Heroin affects a person’s stability, and the high can cause them to seem extremely tired or depressed.

Q: What Does Heroin Show Up As In A Urine Test?

A: Heroin shows up on a 12 panel urine test as an opiate, and it can show up on the test for up to a week in the urine (depending on the frequency of use). The life of heroin in a person’s urine can also depend on factors such as:

  • Weight
  • Height
  • Genetics
  • Amount Taken
  • Frequency of Use
  • Body Fat
  • Metabolism
  • Hydration

Q: What Does Heroin Show Up As On A Drug Test?

A: Heroin shows up on a 12 panel (urine) test under the opiate category, but it will also show up on a hair follicle test, blood test, and even a saliva test. Drug testing can be practiced in these settings:

  • Pre-employment Testing
  • Random Employment Testing
  • Physical Exams
  • Probation and Parole

Cause And Effect

Q: What Are Some Short-Term Effects Of Heroin?

A: The initial feeling from the drug is typically described as a sudden rush, immense pleasure followed by other short-term effects such as:

  • Catatonia
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Heavy Extremities
  • Memory Loss
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Poor Motor Control
  • Severe Itching
  • Slowed Breathing
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Constipation

Q: What Are Some Long-Term Effects Of Heroin?

A: The withdrawals from heroin can be so intense that panic attacks and seizures are common. Some of the long-term effects of heroin use are:

  • Addiction
  • Substance Use Disorder–Addiction
  • Withdrawal
  • Dental Issues
  • Depression
  • Suppressed Appetite and Lack of Nutrition
  • Damaged Immune System
  • Spontaneous Miscarriage
  • Financial and Legal Implications
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Collapsed Veins
  • Bacterial Infections
  • HIV and Hepatitis C
  • Heart Damage
  • Overdose and Death
  • Panic Attacks
  • Seizures

Q: What Are The Physical Effects Of Heroin?

A: A larger dose can cause a person to feel very relaxed–or drowsy–and after using the drug, a person can get “the nods” (where they will be in and out of full consciousness). This is because heroin is an extremely potent depressant. Using heroin greatly reduces mental and physical pain, by controlling the central nervous system.

The part of the brain, responsible for breathing, is slowed down, and thus a person’s breathing can become dangerously delayed and can sometimes stop completely. Body temperature and blood pressure can drop significantly as well.

Q: What Are The Psychological Effects Of Heroin?

A: Heroin can have severe and dangerous effects on the brain, and psychology. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse – “Repeated heroin use changes the physical structure and physiology of the brain, creating long-term imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed. Studies have shown some deterioration of the brain’s white matter due to heroin use, which may affect decision-making abilities, the ability to regulate behavior, and responses to stressful situations.”

Once a person becomes addicted to heroin, their brain becomes obsessed with the drug, and can sometimes think about nothing but heroin. A person suffering from heroin addiction may experience anxiety disorder, depression disorder, personality disorder, and other co-occurring mental disorders.

Q: What Are The Side Effects Of Heroin?

A: These side effects of heroin can present themselves after about 10 minutes:

  • Skin Flushing
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Dry Mouth
  • Overall Feeling of Heaviness in Extremities
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Itchy Skin
  • Confusion and Mental Fog
  • Emotional and Physical Numbness
  • Compulsive Scratching

Some of the life-threatening side effects that come with heroin use are:

  • Infections in the heart, prominently in the lining and valves.
  • HIV, hepatitis B and C, and blood infections from sharing needles.
  • Respiratory infections and pulmonary diseases..
  • Collapsed veins, blood clots, and destruction of tissues.
  • Liver Disease
  • Seizures
  • Overdose

Q: What Effect Does Heroin Have On The Brain?

A: When a person uses heroin, it reaches their brain within seconds and then turns into Morphine. Once in the brain, the drug binds to opioid receptors, which are responsible for pain and pleasure. Drugs like heroin hijack the dopamine receptors, and cause the user to believe that they can’t be happy without the drug. Using heroin slows down the thought process and breathing. The opioid receptors located in the brain are also affected by heroin use–they are responsible for blood pressure, breathing, and arousal. Heroin also effects the hippocampus which is the part of the brain that controls our memory.

Q: What Does A Heroin High Feel Like?

A: Being high on heroin is sometimes described as a dream state–it is a complete euphoria and intense high. The high starts off with an explosive feeling, and while the numb feeling can last for a little while, it’s usually followed by a session of “nodding off,” and then feeling tired, depressed, anxious, and indifferent.

Q: What Does Injecting Heroin Feel Like?

A: The initial injection of heroin feels stings a little bit, followed by a rush of warmth, and then a numb feeling. The warmth follows the drug through the veins, into the brain and that same warmth and numbness proceeds to the face, cheeks, and chest.

Q: What Causes Heroin Addiction?

A: When a person uses heroin, the dopamine in the brain is hijacked, and after a while using the drug becomes the primary way to achieve euphoria. In the case of heroin and other opioids, the opiate receptors are changed, and the actual physical structure of the brain is changed.

Over time, as a person continuously uses heroin, their body and mind move from being acquaintances with the drug, to being in a full on obsessive relationship with the drug. Now instead of being an option, the high from heroin becomes a necessity.

Q: What Causes Heroin Withdrawal?

A: Lack of heroin works the same way as lack of food and oxygen, and withdrawals are the body and mind’s response to lack of the substance. When a person uses heroin with any regularity, over time, their body reacts with the drug as if it’s as common as the air we breathe, or the water we drink. And much like food is to hunger, taking heroin away can cause a person to feel sick, and the body and mind go into complete panic and survival mode; this is when heroin withdrawal symptoms set in.

Q: How Long Does Heroin Stay In Your System?

A: Depending on the testing method, heroin is in your system for as short as 5 hours and as long as 7 months. Generally heroin is out of a person’s system in 3-4 days. If a person uses the drug more frequently, it can stay in their body for longer. A urine test will usually show heroin for 4 days, but in heavy users the drug can be found for as long as 7 days.

Heroin is usually out of the bloodstream within 1 day for a blood test, but if a person is being tested via hair follicles, the drug can stay in the system for up to 3-7 months. A saliva test isn’t normally practiced for heroin testing; however, the drug can stay in the saliva as short as 5 hours and as long as 48 hours.

Q: What Does Heroin Feel Like?

A: Heroin is a coarse powder and feels gritty between the fingers. It can also be in a black substance (which is more common for smoking) and can have a sticky, or gooey feeling–this is also known as “black tar heroin.”

Q: What Does Heroin Do To The Body?

A: Heroin can have a myriad of adverse effects on the body, along with some of the short and long term effects of heroin, a person can also suffer:

  • Collapsed Veins
  • Infection of the Heart Lining and Valves
  • Abscesses
  • Constipation and Stomach Cramping
  • Liver or Kidney Disease
  • Lung Complications, including various types of pneumonia

Q: What Heroin Does To Your Face?

A: Heroin causes a person’s face to look extremely unhealthy. The drug itself makes a person lose excessive amounts of weight, and causes the face to appear saggy and old. As a person uses heroin, they lose a lot of natural fat, making them look unhealthy, saggy, wrinkly, and sickly.

Q: What Happens When You Overdoses On Heroin?

A: When a person overdoses on heroin, it can sometimes lead to death, however, some of the common symptoms of a heroin overdose are:

  • Breathing Problems
  • Weak Pulse
  • Small Pupils
  • Bluish Lips and Fingernails
  • Stomach Problems
  • Delerium
  • Coma
  • Drowsiness

Q: What Does A Heroin Overdose Look Like?

A: Heroin overdose is incredibly dangerous and can often lead to death. Typically a person experiencing an overdose from heroin will be non-responsive, they may seem like they are sleeping or “passed out.” When a person is experiencing an overdose from heroin, they will have bluish lips, and discoloration of the tongue. If someone you know is possibly experiencing an overdose, is always best to Dial 911.

Using Heroin

Q: What Are The Different Ways Heroin Can Be Used?

A: Heroin can be used a multitude of ways other than shooting or injection, here are some of the common and not so common ways to use heroin:

  • Injecting – “Shooting Up”
  • Smoking, some mix the drug with crack cocaine for a “Speedball”
  • Snorting or Sniffing
  • Orally
  • Suppositories
  • Transdermal – “Heroin Patch”

Q: What Happens When You Smoke Heroin?

A: Some people don’t become hooked on heroin by injecting it, but by snorting or smoking heroin–the difference is that the drug makes its way to the brain faster and stays longer when injected. However, no matter which way the drug enters the body, many of the adverse effects stay the same. Of course, smoking heroin does damage to the brain, but can also damage the heart, liver, and kidneys.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “smoking the drug can damage the lungs and increase the risk of respiratory diseases, including pneumonia and bronchitis.” Smoking heroin can lead to addiction just as quickly as injecting or snorting it.

Q: What Happens If You Do Heroin After Taking Suboxone?

A: “Suboxone is a medication for the treatment of addiction to opiate painkillers and street opiate drugs including heroin,” (SCCGOV). Basically, Suboxone is used to manage an opiate addiction, and can stay in the system for two days. If a person uses heroin while on Suboxone, they will likely become violently ill, in some cases, the mixture of suboxone and heroin has even been fatal.

Q: What Happens When You Sniff /Snort Heroin?

A: Because heroin is more potent than it used to be, a lot of the “new age” users will snort the drug instead of shooting it up–and still get high. After a person snorts heroin, the drug enters into their nasal passage and after the drug breaks down, it enters into the central nervous system. The drug then takes on its usual role in getting a person high. Some of the adverse effects of snorting heroin (and any other drug) are:

  • Damage to the Cilia (hairs within your nostrils)
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Persistent Infections
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Recurring Runny Nose
  • Nasal Obstruction
  • Nasal Deformity
  • Collapsed Nasal Passages
  • Bone Loss in Nasal Region
  • Perforated Septum (hole in the nasal septum)
  • Allergies (may worsen)
  • Nose Whistles
  • Development of or Increased Snoring
  • Decreased Sense of Smell (or complete loss of smell)
  • Foul Odors
  • Toxic Shock
  • High Fever
  • Lung Complications
  • Aggressive tendencies or psychotic episodes
  • Convulsions
  • Seizure
  • Respiratory Distress
  • Heart Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Issues with your Blood Circulation
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Deat

Dangers And Risks Of Heroin Use

Q: What Are The Risks Of Heroin Addiction?

A: The problem with addiction is that once an individual builds up a tolerance to the drug they might not realize that they are using copious amounts of it to achieve the same high as before. A person struggling with a heroin addiction might sever relationships, become homeless, go to prison, get infections, get HIV, get Hepatitis C, overdose, die, or develop some of other long-term effects.

Q: What To Do In The Case Of A Heroin Overdose?

A: Call 911… If a person is suffering from a heroin overdose, they need medical attention–a little trouble is easier to deal with than death, or a comatose loved one.

Q: How Is Heroin Harmful?

A: “Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid drug. A heroin overdose can cause slow and shallow breathing, coma, and death. People often use heroin along with other drugs or alcohol. This practice is especially dangerous because it increases the risk of overdose.

Heroin is typically injected but is also smoked and snorted. When people inject heroin, they are at risk of serious, long-term viral infections such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B, as well as bacterial infections of the skin, bloodstream, and heart.” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Q: What Happens When You Overdose On Heroin?

A: Overdose happens when a person uses too much of a drug, and since heroin is a drug that people build up a tolerance to, and what used to get a person high will no longer get them high–and they have to increases their dosage. This is also known as chasing the dragon, because as a person’s dose requirement becomes higher they are said to rarely achieve the same effect as the first time.

When a person uses too much heroin, they are likely to experience an overdose which can lead to death or coma. Some of the signs of a heroin overdose are:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • No Breathing
  • Weak Pulse
  • Small Pupils
  • Bluish Lips and Fingernails
  • Stomach Problems
  • Delerium
  • Coma
  • Drowsiness

Q: What Makes Heroin So Dangerous?

A: Heroin is so dangerous because of the drug morphine, which slows down a person’s breathing. It can also lead to infection due to repeatedly shooting into the same location. Another danger of the heroin is the likelihood of contracting HIV or Hepatitis C by sharing needles or taking part in unprotected sex. Heroin in pregnant women is also known to cause neonatal abstinence syndrome in infants (NAS).

Q: What Should Be Expected In A Visit To Emergency Room For Heroin Overdose?

A: As stated by the National Library of Medicine, these actions will be taken when a person is taken to the ER for heroin:

  • Blood and Urine Tests
  • Breathing support, including oxygen tube through the mouth into the throat, and breathing machine
  • Chest x-ray
  • CT scan (advanced imaging) of the brain if head injury is suspected
  • EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Intravenous Fluids (through a vein)
  • Medicines to treat symptoms, such as naloxone, to counteract the effects of the heroin

Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Use

Q: How Can I Tell If I’m Addicted To Heroin?

A: Heroin is a very addictive substance, and typically a person who regularly uses the drug builds up a tolerance. So now they need more of the drug to get the same effect as before. Once a person has built up a tolerance to heroin, and is using more frequently, they will have serious withdrawals when the drug isn’t available. Sometimes this can occur within hours of last use. Withdrawals from heroin include:

  • Muscle and Bone Pain
  • Sleep Problems
  • Diarrhea and Vomiting
  • Cold Flashes with Goose Bumps (“cold turkey”)
  • Uncontrollable Leg Movements (“kicking the habit”)
  • Severe Heroin Cravings

(National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Q: What Are The Symptoms Of Heroin Overdose?

A: A heroin overdose can lead to death, and happens when a person uses too much and has a toxic reaction. When a person overdoses on heroin their breathing is slowed down which gives the brain less oxygen–this is known as hypoxia. Some of the other symptoms related to heroin overdose are:

  • Slowed Breathing or Stop Breathing
  • Tongue Discoloration
  • Tiny Pupils
  • Dry Mouth
  • Coma
  • Delirium
  • Blue Fingernails and Lips
  • Weak Heart Pulse
  • Stomach Spasms and Constipation

Heroin overdose is a very dangerous situation, if you think you or someone else might be experiencing an overdose it is advisable to seek medical attention by calling 911. Don’t try to take matters into your own hands; it is better to get in a little trouble than to die of an overdose.

Q: What Are The Withdrawal Symptoms Of Heroin?

A: The withdrawals from withdrawals from opiates like heroin are intense–trying to manage them alone can be deadly. These withdrawals are usually the most intense after 2-3 days, and can last for 5-10 days total. Some of the side of symptoms of heroin withdrawal are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Bone Pains
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Agitation

Recovery From Heroin

Q: What Happens When You Quit Heroin?

A: A person who frequently uses heroin is very likely to experience withdrawal symptoms within a few hours of using the drug. A person who decides to recover from heroin use should is usually done with withdrawals within a week of their last use, and some medical intervention might be necessary for detoxification. The symptoms that are likely to occur with a heroin withdrawal are:

  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Strong Craving for Heroin–often leading to relapse
  • Shaking
  • Panic Attacks
  • Depression
  • Nausea

Q: What Do Heroin Withdrawals Feel Like?

A: The feelings associated with heroin withdrawals are:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Agitation
  • Sweating Profusely
  • Shaking
  • Insomnia

Heroin withdrawals can begin within a few hours of using the drug, but the most intense withdrawals start after 2-4 days of using the drug.

Q: What Is Used To Treat Heroin Addiction?

A: Heroin addiction treatment can include a variety of different modalities, some of which can include:

  • Intervention
  • Detoxification
  • Evidence-Based Treatment
  • Medication
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Inpatient Therapy
  • Outpatient Therapy
  • Aftercare Support
  • Drug Testing

Q: What Is The Best Way To Get Off Heroin?

A: Addiction Treatments Centers will typically use a research based treatment leading to various treatment methods, including:

  • Detoxification
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Medicine–Suboxone
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Nutrition and Exercise
  • Life Afterwards

Statistics On Heroin Abuse

Q: What Percentage Of Heroin Addicts Die?

A: In 2014, nearly 11 thousand people died from a heroin overdose in the United States, and about 1 million people reported using heroin. According to these numbers, approximately 1.1% of heroin users died in 2014.

Q: What Is The Lethal Dose Of Heroin?

A: A lethal dose of heroin may be different from one person to the next, and can also depend on the purity of the drug. The longer a person uses heroin, the more of the drug they need, and their tolerance becomes higher. The problem, and danger, with this is that it might take a person twice as much as it used to take them to get high–making their doses more and more likely to be lethal.

This is known as “chasing the dragon” or the constant need to strengthen the amount of heroin needed, or frequency of doses to achieve the same high as the first time using.

Q: What Is The Cost Of Heroin?

A: Pure heroin can be found for $600 and less per gram. The price of street heroin, which has been “cut” can be as low as $100-$150 per gram. The cost of heroin is alarming, and it’s widely available to the mass public. The biggest cost of heroin isn’t a value of currency–it’s life.

Q: What Percentage Of Heroin Addicts Get Clean?

A: According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Addiction is a treatable disease. Research in the science of addiction and the treatment of substance use disorders has led to the development of evidence-based interventions that help people stop abusing drugs and resume productive lives.”

Drug-Free World - Heroin Statistics

DEA - Drug Info - Heroin Drug Facts

SCC - Suboxone Treatment Program

CDC - Heroin - Recovery & Treatment

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