Heroin comes from the opium poppy.  In its purest form, heroin is a fine white powder.  When it is sold on the street it is usually "cut" (mixed) with something to increase its weight and effects.  Street heroin is often brown and lumpy.

Heroin is a depressant drug.  It slows down a person's brain and cantral nervous system.  The high from heroin can last up to 5 hours.

Short Term Effects

  • Strong feelings of relaxation and pleasure or euphoria

  • Heavy feeling in arms and legs

  • Possible nausea, vomiting, or severe itching

  • Slower breathing and heart rate

  • Less or no pain

  • Drowsy

  • "Cloudy" thinking

Long Term Effects

People who share needles to inject heroin are at high risk of getting diseases such as:

  • Hepatitis C (liver disease)

  • HIV and other blood borne diseases

  • Infection of the heart lining and valves

  • Skin infections and abscesses

  • Lung or kidney disease

Withdrawal Effects

  • Feel restless

  • Cold sweats and chills

  • Fever

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Pain in muscles and bones

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea

Doctors will sometimes prescribe methadone or other treatments to help someone through the effects of withdrawal from heroin.

BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.