DEALogo DRCNet Response to the
Drug Enforcement Administration
Get It Straight!

DRCNet Response:  Those who wish a good background on the history of heroin, the heroin laws, and the dangers of heroin itself should read

From the Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs:


Most people know that heroin is a dangerous drug not to be messed with. The way that most users take heroin can cause serious damage. People share needles, which can lead to AIDS, hepatitis, and painful sores (abscesses) in your skin, lungs, and brain. Since there's no way to find out the purity of heroin that's sold on the street, shooting up could kill you just like that.

STREET NAMES FOR HEROIN: A Bag (single dose of heroin), Sugar Hill, Smack, Dope, Gumball, Tootsie Roll Black Tar and H.

THE LOOK: Pure heroin is a white powder that tastes really bad. Most heroin sold on the street can vary in color from white to dark brown because of where it comes from. The heroin available on the street is much more powerful than it was 20 years ago.

The type of heroin known as Black Tar comes from Mexico, and is popular in parts of the United States. Black Tar is either sticky or hard and looks like roofing tar. It's usually dissolved and mixed with other liquids before being injected into the user's vein.

HEROIN IS PRODUCED: from morphine, which comes from a plant called the opium poppy. The drug is produced in makeshift laboratories and shipped all over the world. The United States supply of heroin mostly comes from South America, Southwest and Southeast Asia, and Mexico.

HEROIN USE: Heroin is primarily injected into the veins (a shot) because that's the fastest way for the user to get the drug into his system. This is called a "fix." People snort or smoke heroin too.

HEROIN IS ILLEGAL: in all states. If you're caught with any amount of heroin, you could spend time in jail. You might even have to pay a large sum of money if you are caught selling the drug.

  • A dangerous dependence, addiction, and tolerance to the drug.

  • Apathy.

  • Extreme happiness and/or extreme depression.

  • Difficulty kicking the habit.

  • Makes it hard to breathe.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Puts you to sleep.

  • HIV/AIDS and hepatitis from sharing needles.

Here's what it could be like if a person is addicted to heroin: living in back alleys, taking drugs in roach-infested buildings, sharing dirty needles, getting sores on your arms and legs, becoming sick, stealing, selling drugs, always hungry for drugs, not sleeping too well, and all the while denying that there is a drug problem.

Heroin affects the part of your brain that is responsible for making you feel pleasure. In other words, taking the drug makes you artificially happy. It's a joke. You think you've checked out of painful situations, only to be stalked by the feeling that the drug is needed all of the time to eliminate pain. This cycle turns into a nightmare.

"Society says, 'take a pill and your problems will go away, or drink a beer and you will be in.' This is how drug abuse starts. People need to be responsible for their actions in order to stay drug-free."

DEA Special Agent


Sellin the drug, the coke, the dope,
It leaves you feelin'
That's there's no hope.
There is no power in the white powder.
If you sell the stuff, you're really a coward.
'Cause all of the clothes and cars and stuff,
Will make you think there's never enough.
Your cash is gained through others' pain.
Your life becomes one of shame.
A life of running away from life,
A life that can be full of strife.
A life that's filled with violence and guns,
Fast and quick and over-run
With Hate and Death 'til day is done.

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