What is heroin used for?

Heroin is an illegal drug used for its euphoric effect. More on heroin uses, side effects, and consequences of illegal use here.

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Heroin is a psychoactive opiate drug produced from morphine, a natural substance found in papaversomniferum (also known as the opium poppy plant). Due to the number of side effects associated with its use, as well as its addictive properties, heroin is an illegal drug.

Here, we review common uses and side effects of heroin and why the drug is not legal. Feel free to post your questions in the comment section at the end. We try to answer all legitimate concerns about heroin, euphoria, and euphoric effects with a personal and prompt reply.

Heroin uses

Heroin appears in both powdered and sticky form and is typically administrated through inhaling, injecting or snorting. Once it enters the brain, it converts into morphine and binds to the opioid receptors of the central nervous system, which are located mainly in areas of the brain involved in the perception of pain and automatic processes.

While morphine is commonly used to relieve mild or severe pains or sedate patients prior to operations, heroin is seldom used for medical purposes. In some countries it is used as an effective analgesic, however,in the United States it is considered a drug of abuse, having no accepted medical purposes whatsoever.  This is mainly because of how heroin works in the body: it produces extreme euphoric effect and is known to be highly addictive.

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Heroin uses and side effects

The short term effects of heroin use include euphoria, relaxation, pleasure, followed by a number of less pleasurable effects such dryness in the mouth, heaviness in extremities, drowsiness, and/or mental clouding. However, heroin use can also be accompanied by vomiting, nausea and itching. Regular use of heroin fosters tolerance and physical dependence to the drug.  This is how users become addicted to it, exposing themselves to a number of adverse side effects such as:

  • abscess
  • clogged blood vessels
  • collapsed veins
  • endocarditis (inflammation of heart tissue)
  • hepatitis
  • kidney malfunction
  • liver malfunction
  • overdose
  • pneumonia
  • spontaneous abortion

Regular users of heroin who decide to entirely reduce the drug intake usually experience severe physical withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms usually occur between 48 and 72 hours after the last drug intake and may last from one week to several months. Those include but are not limited to the following:

  • cold flashes
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia
  • leg twitching
  • muscle and bone aching
  • restlessness

Illegal heroin use

Heroin is considered one of the most alarming drugs of abuse throughout United States, as the number of heroin users is growing rapidly thanks to its accessibility, cheap price, purity, as well as the innovations in the way it is being taken. Having absolutely no medical purposes approved in the Unities States, heroin is used only recreationally which makes it an illegal drug. In most of cases, the punishment for heroin offenders in the U.S. is imprisonment which, lasts about 70 weeks on average.

Questions about heroin use

In this article we tried to cover the typical uses of heroin, the most common side effects and legal consequences associated with its use. Should you have any additional questions or comments, or wish to expand on a particular issue, feel free to contact us in the comments section below.

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Reference Sources: National Institute of Drug Abuse
United States Sentencing Commission
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. I am 5’7 tall, 130lbs(pounds big) and I’m 21 years old. I used(snorted) heroin on Thursday and Friday. I haven’t used since Monday. So I was 3 days clean. I only used this 2 days and I regret it so much. I only used so little(I think) i buy it in powder form that comes in balloons. Only 2 balloons on thursday and 2 on Friday. My overall question is will I be clean by Monday? I have a pee test. I am asking this and sharing all this details of my using because I read that it matters how tall, how old, how much I weight, and how much I used to determine how quicker I’ll get clean. And I’m not the sure how pure the heroin is that I snorted, i do know that is mixed with either narcos, fentanyl, or other pills, not sure. But please answer my question. Please and thank you. I appreciate it . Thanks again.

    1. Hi Jose. Heroin can be detected in urine for 1-2 days. However, heroin will show up in the urine for longer periods if taken in higher amounts, or if someone is a habitual heroin abuser.

  2. At ibogaine addiction treatment centers, people can let their emotions flow, which helps them to remove all emotional desire that helps eliminate addictive impulse.

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