Pharmaceutically manufactured heroin is a pure white powder, which can be made into tablets and ampoules, or as a linctus.
Commonly a beige or brown powder. Or more rarely as a white powder (Chinese no. 4, or 'China White').
Desired Effects:Intense rush, euphoria, exhilaration, relaxation and decreased anxiety, feelings of warm wellbeing.
Side Effects:Nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, decreased heart-rate, shallow breathing, coma sometimes fatal.
Long term risks:Dependence and in long term users there can be a risk of failing to take normal care of the body as heroin is a very effective pain killer and appetite suppressant.
Injection of impure heroin - typical UK purity rates range from 10% to 40% - can damage circulatory system, leading to abscesses, ulcers, thrombosis, etc.
Unsterile injection practices increase the risk of blood borne diseases such as septicaemia, hepatitis C, and HIV.
Short term risks:Tolerance and overdose, problems may also arise from impurities if heroin is injected, such as dizziness, headache, loss of coordination, nausea, as well as risks from injecting like abscess and collapsed veins.
Razor blade, hard level surface (such as a mirror or glass), tube or rolled banknote.
Tinfoil, matches or lighter, cigarette papers, tobacco.
Needle and syringe, water, citric acid, matches or lighter, spoon, tourniquet, swabs.
Parents & other relatives
Drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents of people using these drugs. Many street agencies can provide relative support groups or counselling for family members, partners etc.