Heroin facts at a glance

The signs and symptoms of using heroin can include:

  • Confusion
  • Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Slurred/slow speech
  • Reduced coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Suppressed cough reflex
  • Reduced sexual urges
  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slowed breathing

The consequences of using heroin may include:

  • High risk of addiction
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Menstrual irregularity and infertility in women
  • Loss of sex drive in men
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Chronic constipation
  • Infection at the site of injections
  • HIV and hepatitis infections through needle sharing
  • Non-fatal overdose
  • Death from overdose

Heroin or diacetylmorphine – printable fact sheet (PDF 83 KB)

If you required an accessible version of this document please contact the National Drugs Campaign Team

This page was last reviewed in March 2014.