Smack, Brown, Horse, Gear, Junk, Skag

Illegal (Class A)

Varies, generally bought in wraps from £10 – £20


  • Heroin use is not common with young people in the UK.
  • Heroin comes from the naturally occurring seed of the opium poppy plant.
  • Heroin is usually a brown powder or paste in appearance.
  • Heroin is typically injected however it can also be snorted or smoked.
  • Heroin is a very destructive and addictive drug.
  • Frequent injections can cause damage to veins and can lead to infections of blood vessels and heart valves if dirty syringes are used.
  • Unsightly skin infections, abscesses and scarring are also common among people who repeatedly inject.
  • Sharing syringes between users can spread life changing diseases e.g. HIV and other blood borne viruses.
  • Long term heroin use can result in liver and kidney disease.
  • Heroin is a depressant and slows down the brains function, in particular the control of breathing which in some cases can slow down to a complete stop.
  • Women who use heroin whilst pregnant can face a variety of issues such as problems with the development and growth of the foetus, increased risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
  • It can also cause irregular periods and infertility in women.
  • Heroin is not a popular drug of choice with young people, advice should be sought immediately if they are using or know someone who is.
  • Heroin should not be mixed with other substances.
  • Heroin is highly addictive and should be avoided.
  • Heroin should be smoked rather than injected wherever possible.
  • Injectors should use clean needles and equipment, which is available free of charge from local drug and alcohol teams.
  • Don’t use alone
  • Don’t share equipment.
  • Users should seek advice from local drug and alcohol teams if they are using heroin, as support and substitute medications can be given to reduce and stop use.
  • High risks of overdose, particularly after a period of abstinence.