National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Heroin is the National Institute on Drug Abuse
Heroin is a drug made from morphine, a natural substance in the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Heroin can be injected, smoked or snorted. Heroin abuse is a serious problem in the United States. Major health problems from heroin include miscarriages, heart infections and death from overdose. People who inject the drug also risk infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Regular use of heroin can lead to tolerance. This means users need more and more drug to have the same effect. At higher doses over time, the body becomes dependent on heroin. If dependent users stop heroin, they have withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea, vomiting and cold flashes.
NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)