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Empathogens increase an individual’s feeling of empathy and benevolence towards others and increase feelings of being socially accepted by and connected to others. They can increase friendliness and playfulness, but can also cause mood swings, dehydration and depression.


Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Heroin can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin.

People inject, sniff, snort, or smoke heroin. Some people mix heroin with crack cocaine, a practice called speedballing. Heroin enters the brain rapidly and binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure and in controlling heart rate, sleeping, and breathing. §

Drug Classification


Drug Schedule

Schedule I

Body Temperature

Increase 0.2 - 0.8 C

Pupil Size


Reaction to Light

Test reaction

Muscle Tone

Test Muscle Tone

Short Term Side Effects

Dry mouth
Warm flushing of the skin
Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
Nausea and vomiting
Severe itching
Clouded mental functioning
Going "on the nod" or "nodding-out" a back-and-forth state of being conscious and semiconscious (asleep/awake). 

Long Term Side Effects

Collapsed veins for people who inject the drug
Damaged tissue inside the nose for people who sniff or snort it
Infection of the heart lining and valves
Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
Constipation and stomach cramping
Liver and kidney disease
Lung complications, including pneumonia
Mental disorders such as depression and antisocial personality disorder
Sexual dysfunction for men
Irregular menstrual cycles for women §

Other Side effects

Heroin often contains additives, such as sugar, starch, or powdered milk, that can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage. Also, sharing drug injection equipment and having impaired judgment from drug use can increase the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis (see "Injection Drug Use, HIV, and Hepatitis"). §

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