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Heroin may be a white or brown powder or a black, sticky goo. It’s an opioid drug made up of morphine, a natural substance within the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. They are often mixed with water and injected with a needle. Heroin also can be smoked or snorted up the nose. All of those ways of taking heroin send it to the brain very quickly. This makes it very addictive.
Regular use of heroin can cause tolerance. This suggests users need more and more drugs to possess an equivalent effect. At higher doses over time, the body becomes hooked on heroin. If dependent users stop heroin, they need withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea and vomiting, and cold flashes with goosebumps.
Major health problems from heroin include miscarriages, heart infections, and death from overdose. People that inject the drug also risk getting infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.