Slang: Morphine, codeine, heroin, paregoric, opium, smack, china white

Usage: Smoked, ingested, or injected

Olive brown to reddish-brown; coarse granular mass with a characteristic odor and a very bitter taste.

Duration: Three to six hours

Immediate Effects:
Euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, relief of pain, dry mouth, slurs speech, constricts pupils, nausea and vomiting, tremors, sweating.

Delayed effects:
Heartbeat irregularities, mood changes, anxiety, agitation, loss of appetite, constipation, stomach cramping, lung and breathing problems.

Overdose Signs/Syptoms:
Shallow breathing, pinpoint pupils, clammy skin, convulsions, coma

Watery eyes; runny nose; loss of appetite; tremors; panic; chills; muscle cramps; sweating; nausea and vomiting; hot and cold flashes; insomnia; elevations in blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and temperature.

Signs & Symptoms:
Wears long sleeves to cover scars or tracks caused by injections; constricted, pinpoint pupils; sniffles; watery eyes; lethargy.


Opiates have a high potential for development of psychological and physical dependence and tolerance. Of all illegal drugs, heroin is responsible for the most deaths. Because these drugs are primarily taken by injection, there are many harmful consequences such as:

  • Uncertain dosage levels
  • Contamination with other agents
  • Serious illnesses such as hepatitis, HIV, and cardiac disease