Heroin is a highly addictive, illegal and illicit drug that is bought and sold on the black market. Jargon for heroin includes “smack,” “junk,” “H,” “horse” and “skag.” It is a drug derived from the painkiller morphine, which is derived from an Asian poppy plant.

Abuse Patterns

Recent trends in heroin use reflect a shift from intravenous use to snorting or smoking the drug. When users are not shooting the drug directly into their bloodstream, they perpetuate the myth that snorting or smoking heroin reduces its potential for addiction. Jason Gluckman, addiction expert author on ezinarticles.com, defines drug abuse/addiction as the compulsive and habitual misuse of any drug for a number of purposes, such as:

  • Achieving calming or euphoric effects
  • Escape reality i.e. “checking out”
  • As a route toward eliminating anxiety
  • Dulling symptoms of depression
  • To increase social proclivity in order to feel comfortable in social situations and seeking the drugs to the extent that the cost becomes unreasonable in comparison to the gain.