Heroin abuse is a serious problem among Minnesota teens, but it does not have to define their lives. Through compassionate care in a supportive environment, teens get the resources they need to move beyond heroin abuse effects into a bright, drug-free future.

Why is Heroin Abuse Popular Among Teens?

The signs of heroin abuse among teens can start suddenly. Few teens expect heroin addiction to set in after just one use. Many are exposed to opioids as pain medication and turn to heroin when they can no longer obtain a prescription. Heroin comes from morphine, an ingredient in common pain medications. More than 400 opioid-related deaths happened in Minnesota in 2016.

Common Street Names

Street names for heroin include:

  • Smack
  • Dope
  • Horse
  • Mud
  • Junk
  • H
  • Skag
  • Black Tar
  • Birdie Powder
  • Dragon
  • Witch Hazel
  • Pluto
  • Witch Hazel
  • Hero
  • Black Pearl
  • China White
  • Boy
  • Chiva
  • White Stuff
  • Mexican Horse
  • Skunk
  • Black Sugar
  • Number 2

How is Heroin Abused?

Street heroin is typically injected, sniffed, or snorted. It can be smoked using certain equipment. Street heroin is not readily available to most teenagers and is not common at parties like some other drugs of abuse. Contact with a dealer is often necessary to obtain it.

Overview of How the Drug is Abused


Heroin abuse effects start with a “rush” as the body processes the drug into morphine, which affects the brain within moments. The most common heroin abuse symptoms include flushing of the skin, mouth dryness, and a heaviness in the arms and legs. Some users experience nausea, vomiting, and itching. Although the initial rush fades quickly, some effects last for several hours.

Warning Signs

Signs of heroin use include drowsiness, lethargy, “brain fog,” and difficulty concentrating. The user may have trouble standing, walking, and staying balanced. Negative effects of heroin are observable long after use and continue to be felt even as the heroin high takes a larger and larger dose to achieve. Significantly slowed heart and respiratory function can cause a coma.

Parents and loved ones should also watch for personality changes that can suggest drug use. Teens may suffer from problems in school, become isolated, or stop engaging in activities that they once enjoyed. Withdrawing from others helps conceal dangerous behaviors around drug abuse.

Long-Term Effects and Dangers of Abuse

Risks of heroin increase with each dose, and even one is enough to cause heroin addiction. Heroin overdose is one of the most significant long-term risks of abuse. Heroin overdose symptoms include depressed breathing, loss of consciousness, bluish lips or nails, and pinpoint pupils. Emergency medical attention is needed right away for anyone showing overdose symptoms!

Heroin Abuse Treatment: How Anthony Louis Center Helps Teens

The Anthony Louis Center offers a safe environment where teens can benefit from the highest quality of care in a safe, non-judgmental environment. We help teens navigate drug withdrawal symptoms, rebuild essential relationships with others, and learn new coping strategies that allow them to face life’s challenges free from drug abuse confidently. Find one of our centers throughout Minnesota.

To learn more, contact us.

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