The effects of using heroin vary between individuals and the quantity they have taken. Heroin is a depressant that causes feelings of tranquillity and a restful state. Addicts will initially feel an intense high, which gradually subsides into a state of relaxed calm, limbs can seem heavy and a sense of drowsiness will overcome them.
Along with this sense of peace there is also the feeling of nausea, slight hallucinations and confusion. Heroin also affects the respiratory and circulation systems, leading to shortness of breath, a low pulse and increased blood pressure. Users may experience constipation, vomiting, skin irritation and a dry mouth.
More severe reactions to, in particular, pure heroin or from prolonged use, include, liver failure, pulmonary seizures and coma. It has been known for pregnant heroin users to experience spontaneous abortions and its continued use can also have serious psychological effects on the body, leading to a state where the only concern heroin addicts have is for the drug itself.
Heroin still has a cult status within the UK and despite the dangers of its use and well-documented deaths of well-known celebrities due to heroin addiction, still retains its allure. Popular culture, music, literature and film continue to attribute a sense of mystery to it and perpetuate its use. The criminal associations connected with its acquisition, the manner of its use and the obvious harmful side-effects are still not a strong enough deterrent to overcome this attraction.