Heroin is a central nervous system depressant that slows the body down and makes a user feel calm and relaxed. Heroin is a semi-synthetic drug, meaning it begins as a natural source. Heroin originates from a natural substance extracted from the seedpod of an Asian opium poppy plant. The substance extracted is converted into morphine through intricate processes and chemically altered to create heroin.

    Heroin is an opioid drug. Opioids are classified in three categories based on the time it takes to react in the human body: long-acting, short-acting, and rapid onset. Heroin is the most rapid acting drug in the opioid family, meaning that the effects of the drug (the “high”) occur quickly. Heroin is referred to as a narcotic, a term that references drugs derived from opium or substances synthetically designed to mimic opium’s pain relieving qualities. Heroin is identified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as its chemical name, Diacetylmorphine or Diamorphine.

    The quick high and pain-relieving qualities make heroin a highly addictive drug. It is most commonly associated with needle injection administration. Heroin has severe physical and psychological effects.