Talk to Frank - Honest information about drugs

Heroin

A powerful opiate that’s usually sold as a white or brown powder.

Also called:

  • Brown
  • Gear
  • H
  • Horse
  • Skag
  • Smack

Quick info

How the drug works varies from person to person

How you might feel
Happy, relaxed, euphoric and/or sleepy, often in a ‘rush’ of effects.
Read more about how it feels
Effects on your body
You might feel sick and vomit, especially if not used to the effect. Drowsy, dry mouth, heart rate and breathing slow down.
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How long it takes to work
If smoking or injecting heroin, the effects kick in immediately. Snorting takes a few minutes to have an effect.
Read more about how long it takes to work
How long the effects last
Smoking effects last for up to an hour. Injecting or snorting lasts longer and can be more intense. After effects can last much longer, however you take it.
Read more about how long the effects last
Common risks
Risk of overdose and death is high. Mixing heroin with other downers (including methadone, alcohol, and benzodiazepines) is extremely dangerous. Heroin is highly addictive so you may become dependent on it and need more to get the same effect.
Read more about the risks
Mixing Drugs
Mixing drugs is always risky but some mixtures are more dangerous than others.
Read more about mixing with other drugs

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Help and advice

What to do in an emergency

If you or someone else needs urgent help after taking drugs or drinking, call 999 for an ambulance. Tell the crew everything you know. It could save their life.

What else to do in an emergency