It's supposed to be just like doing pain pills. No reason to be scared. So how will you take your first hit of heroin?
SOMETIMES, THE BIGGEST SPIRALS HAVE THE SMALLEST START.
The thing about heroin is, it takes you.
Snorted, smoked or injected, heroin's seriously addictive. At least 75% of those who try it "just once" end up using again. Only the more you take, the less it works, and the more you need. Not to get high. Just to feel normal. That's the fly effect for you. It's a nasty spiral, and only heroin is in control.

As of right now, you're not a liar. You're not a thief or a dropout. A victim, a prostitute, a criminal, a bad friend, an untrustworthy sibling or some lost kid sleeping on the streets. You're you. Let's keep it that way.

The Facts

WHAT IS HEROIN?

WHAT'S HEROIN LIKE?

HOW ADDICTIVE IS IT?

HOW DANGEROUS IS HEROIN?

CAN YOU QUIT?



WHAT IS HEROIN?

Heroin (also called boy, white, cheeva, brown sugar, H, Juan and tar) is an illegal and highly addictive drug that can be smoked, sniffed or injected directly into the bloodstream. It's derived from morphine, and like other opiates, it's a sedative. Pure heroin looks like fine white powder, but since most of the heroin sold on the streets is mixed with other stuff (everything from sugar and Benadryl to quinine and caffeine), it usually looks grey, brown or black.Back

WHAT'S HEROIN LIKE?

If it doesn't make you sick, using heroin can give you a loose, drowsy feeling. Users say that while you're on it, you don't care about anything. Your breathing will get slow (often dangerously so). Your movements will get clumsy and your thoughts will get cloudy. A lot of people drift in and out of wakefulness. It's called "getting the nods" and it leaves you pretty vulnerableBack

HOW ADDICTIVE IS IT?

Super addictive. Most people who try heroin once will end up using again. But since your brain builds up a natural tolerance to heroin's effects over time, addicts have to use more H more often to get the same high. This can mean spending hundreds of dollars a day, just to feel normal. Beyond the emotional need, the physical addiction users experience is very real. Heroin withdrawal can be extremely painful, and usually comes with muscle and bone pain, fever, diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms can last for days, even weeks.Back

HOW DANGEROUS IS HEROIN?

First off, overdosing is easy with heroin. There's no way to know how pure the stuff is or if it's cut with something weird. And it gets worse when you mix heroin with other drugs or alcohol. Too much heroin in the bloodstream can slow breathing so much, your body starves for oxygen. So, brain damage. But an overdose can also cause convulsions, coma and death. Use "dirty" or shared needles and you can get HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. There are also blood clots, nasty skin abscesses, clogged blood vessels, infections of the heart and liver, lung disease and more.Back

CAN YOU QUIT?

Getting clean is possible, but it isn't easy. It takes a lot of hard work, including visits to rehabilitation and treatment centers, drug therapies and sticking with a 12 Step program. You'll always struggle with the addiction, even if you succeed. It's a whole lot easier to never start.Back

Stories

Heroin is turning families inside out all over Wisconsin. Their stories usually start the same way. With a small decision that seemed harmless at the time. Kinda like swallowing a fly. Take a listen:

“I didn’t care about who I hurt, what I said, how abusive I was.”

“There she was on the floor.”

“I said, ‘Craig, I have a really bad feeling you’re going to die.’”

“Those were the days when I slept the best, when he was locked up.”

“I wake up to hell every day. And I’ve got to be thankful for it.”

“I was doing more and more every day.”

“The worst part is when you wake up.”

“People prostituted themselves. I made that possible for them.”

“I couldn’t get up to even wipe my own butt.”

“You don’t care about them; they don’t care about you.”

“I was in so much emotional pain.”

“Never once did it occur to me that this person could seriously hurt me.”

“As soon as I got that little bit of trust …”

“I manipulated men for money.”

“I blew $7,000 in two months.”

“It’s actually a boring life.”

“I know what will happen. I’ll end up right back in prison again.”

“Lord have mercy.”

“I would sleep with my car keys under my pillow.”

“You can’t imagine how heartbroken, how mad, how sad...”

“They ditched her to die.”

Nobody thinks they’re gonna be an addict. It just sort of happens. But it doesn’t have to happen to you or yours. Let your friends/school/hometown know what the fly effect’s really like. Spread the word:
DOWNLOAD THE SONG
There Was a Young Man Who Swallowed a Fly
Artist: Joan Herzing, piano and vocals
The song says it all. One decision (like, say, shoot, snort or smoke) and life can spiral out of control. Soon you’re doing things for H that you’d never do on your own. That’s the real fly effect. Check it out:
THE FLY EFFECT
Doing H does a lot of damage.
It's like this sick spiral you can't stop.
MANDY'S STORY
Mandy gave up a lot for heroin,
including her family. And her freedom.
SUSAN'S STORY
Heroin makes you desperate.
You might steal from your own mom for it.
PARENTS' PAIN
You’re not the only one heroin hurts.
JULIE'S STORY
The spiral that is Heroin.
It’s not something that you can just give up whenever you want to.
TAKE-BACK DAY
Abusing Rx drugs, like Oxy, can lead to Heroin abuse.
Prevent Rx drug diversion by properly disposing of unused meds.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY
Help prevent prescription drug diversion and misuse, and Heroin addiction.
Properly dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs.

Get Help

Look For The Signs

People on heroin don't act like themselves anymore. Do they...

  • Get drunk or high all the time?

  • Lie about things?

  • Ditch school or work or old friends?

  • Let things slide, forget plans and break promises?

  • Insist on using drugs or alcohol to have a good time?

  • Hang out with new friends, people you don't know?

  • Borrow or steal money to get high?

Talk to someone

If you (or a friend) have a problem with heroin, there's help out there.