Heroin is an illegal depressant made from certain types of poppy plants. It’s known for being highly addictive.

The drug was originally sold in an over-the-counter cough medicine in 1898, until it was later discovered to have a number of worrying side effects. Street heroin usually appears as a white or brownish powder, or as a dark brown substance known as tar or black tar. It and can be snorted, smoked (chased or mixed with pot) or injected. Injection carries the highest risk.


H, smack, junk, dope, harry, brown, horse, skag and gear. 


The high from heroin can make you feel relaxed, warm and safe, like you couldn’t have a care in the world. You might also have feelings of intense pleasure and drowsiness. Depending on how it’s taken, the effects can come on within 7-8 seconds (by injecting) or within 10–15 minutes (by snorting or smoking it) and can last up to 5 hours depending on the dose and the person.

A high dose of heroin can lead to an overdose. This means you’ve taken more heroin than your body can cope with. The risk of overdose increases if the strength or purity of the heroin is not known. That’s why it’s always best to only try a little bit first to test the strength of it. If heroin is taken with other drugs, especially depressants like Xanax or alcohol, overdose is again more likely. For your safety read this Harm + Risk reduction article.

If you are looking to withdraw from heroin, getting support from one of our withdrawal services is a good idea.

Coming down from heroin can leave you feeling sick, depressed and constipated. And it gets worse from there. If you’re using for a long period of time, withdrawing includes diarrhea, stomach cramps, sweating, itching, insomnia, vomiting, seeing and/or hearing things that aren’t there and basically feeling like you’re going to die. If you are looking to withdraw from heroin, getting support from one of our withdrawal services is a good idea.

Injecting heroin comes with its own set of dangers, as it can do nasty damage to your veins and arteries, which can then lead to infection. Also the chances of overdosing are higher because you’re getting more of the drug into your system, with less chance of it getting broken down or filtered. The risks of sharing needles are huge, as you have a higher chance of catching serious diseases such as hepatitis or HIV/AIDS. To reduce the risks, make sure you have your own sterile syringe, sterile water, swabs, clean spoons, filters and tourniquets (strap). Due to the risks involved with heroin, harm minimisation is key.


Heroin is illegal Australia and if you’re caught with it you could be fined and further criminal action may be taken.  


If you’re having problems with heroin call us directly on Y24 hour free YoDAA Line: 1800 458 685. You will not get in trouble for talking to us.