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( 6MAM )

Cut-Off Levels (ng/mL)
Window of Detection
200 ng/mL (Urine) 1 - 3 Days (Urine)

What is Heroin? 

Heroin is an opioid processed from the naturally occurring opiate morphine. Like all opioids, Heroin, is highly addictive both psychologically and physically due to the fast acting euphoric effects that it causes in users. Heroin is one of the most popular drugs of abuse among recreational users. Even in small doses heroin can be fatal because of it potency and from other unknown substances that may be within it as it is produced and distributed illicitly and unregulated. 6-MAM is the metabolite of heroin making it the preferred test to screen for the use of heroin rather than a standard opiate screen.

Common Nicknames


How is it Used?

Heroin is commonly injected intravenously but can also be insufflated nasally, inhaled, or taken orally. Users often will melt down the substance to then be injected by syringe, a practice that also comes with many health risks like the spread of disease.

What Does it Look Like?

Heroin can come in a variety of forms most commonly a brown or blackish tar like substance and white powder.

Common Symptoms

Dry Mouth
Warm Flushing of the Skin
Heavy Feeling in the Arms & Legs
Nausea & Vomiting
Severe Itching
Clouded Mental Functioning
“Nodding Off” - Back-and-Forth State of Being Conscious & Semi-Conscious
Collapsed Veins for People Inject the Drug
Damaged Tissue Inside the Nose for People Who Sniff or Snort it
Infection of the Heart Lining & Valves
Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
Constipation & Stomach Cramping
Liver & Kidney Disease
Lung Complications (including pneumonia)
Mental Disorders such as Depression & Antisocial Personality Disorder 

What Are the Effects?

 The effects of heroin or much like other opioids in that it produces the pain relieving euphoric effects but due to the fact that heroin is more often injected the effects are much more rapid and users have described the feeling of a “rush” of euphoria followed by a sleepy wakefulness that can last for hours. Since the effects are so intense and rapid it creates a very high potential for abuse and dependency. When a user begins taking heroin, like other opioids, the body will build a tolerance for the drug. Users will eventually need to take larger and larger doses to achieve the “rush” or effects that they desire. This can lead to detrimental health effects and possible overdose or death.

Legal Status

Schedule I substance under the U.S. Controlled Substance Act.


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