Heroin (Smack, Dope, H, Junk, Brown sugar, Horse)

New Jersey Heroin Possession, Manufacturing, Distribution Drug Defense Attorneys

Illegal Drugs:  Information About Heroin

Street names: Smack, Dope, H, Junk, Brown sugar, Horse

Drug Classification: Heroin is a Schedule I drug in the US. It has no recognized medical application and is illegal to produce, distribute, or posses.

General Drug Information

Heroin is a highly addictive and powerful opiate derived from the painkiller Morphine. It causes an intense rush of euphoria followed by sedation that last for a couple hours. Heroin is believed to cause a more intense “rush” than morphine because heroin crosses the blood-brain barrier more rapidly and because it is more soluble in water, creating a more concentrated solution prior to injection.

Pure heroin is a bitter tasting white powder, though appearance on the street may vary from a white, brown, or tan powder to a thick, sticky “black tar” consistency. Variation in appearance is caused either by impurities left over from manufacturing (this is especially true for “black tar” heroin due to crude processing and manufacturing of the substance in Mexico) or by other substances the heroin has been cut with.  Pure heroin is almost never sold on the street, as it can be mixed with sugar, starch, powdered milk, or other white substances and still retain its white-powder appearance.

Heroin Abuse

Heroin is most often injected directly into a person’s vein (intravenously), though it can also be injected into muscle, smoked, or snorted (insufflated). Use of heroin in New Jersey among people age 18-25 is twice the national average with the resurgence fueled by people snorting the drug, making it seem more recreational. This is especially of concern in the Northeastern US, since that is where much of the supply of the drug enters the country and is available in very pure form. Heroin is illegal and a Schedule I substance in the United States.


The effects of heroin are not consistent due to variations in purity, dosage, and the person themselves. Possible effects include euphoria seconds after injection, but also include constipation, dizziness, nausea, and blacking out. Because the purity can be so drastically different from seller to seller, there is a high risk of overdose and many hundreds of people die every year in the US from accidental overdose alone.

Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin is highly addictive because it causes physical dependence and the body quickly builds up a tolerance to it. Tolerance can cause users to overdose as they are chasing the high they got from the first time they used, and physical dependence produces withdrawal symptoms that are highly unpleasant if use of the drug ends. These commonly include nausea, diarrhea, overwhelming anxiety, sweating, shaking, chills and fevers, and insomnia.

Long-Term Health Problems

Most long-term health problems relate to injuries or disease that result from administration of the drug, not the direct effect of heroin on the brain. Extensive intravenous injection can spread disease, cause infection, scarred or collapsed veins, and heart damage. However, all methods of using heroin have caused death from respiratory failure and general suppression of bodily functions.  Injecting heroin substantially increases these risks in addition to the health problems it also poses.