Heroin is a highly addictive drug that, along with its dangerous effects on the user’s body, can lead to a whole host of social and behavioural problems too.As the incidence of heroin abuse has risen, so have the effects on society as a whole, with increased crime, drug gangs, antisocial behaviour and mental illness.

As heroin is an illegal drug, its manufacture, importation and sale are all against the law, leading to organised crime controlling many aspects of its distribution.There is also the amount of money that a heroin addict needs to spend each day, simply to support their habit, which can often lead to them becoming involved in criminal activities.

National Statistics Office figures show that in certain parts of the country entire neighbourhoods have been turned into no-go areas where drug related crime and control is prevalent.Some suburbs of large cities in the UK have regular turf wars between rival gangs and burglary, shoplifting and prostitution are common amongst users, as they try to finance the increasing cost of their habit.

The continued use of heroin can also have effects on an individual’s social behaviour, with many long-term users suffering from mental illness and psychological problems.This can impact not only on the well-being of the heroin user, but also have implications for doctors, health workers and the general public, who come into regular contact with heroin addicts.The use of heroin also has a noticeable effect on family life, whether the intravenous drug user is a child, partner or parent; heroin addiction can lead to the breakdown of the family.