Molecular model of heroin.
2

Are there any medical uses of heroin?

Heroin is not used medically in the U.S. But, it is provided as an evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorders in several European countries.

Heroin is not used medically in the United States. Heroin is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that the federal government has determined that it has no currently accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse. However, it is provided as an evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorders in several European countries such as Switzerland and Spain, and Canada. In Canada, it is also legally provided to some people who use street opioids as a safe supply alternative to the more unpredictable underground drug supply. This is in order to prevent overdoses and other adverse effects.


We need a health approach to heroin.

The risk of heroin use has increased with additives in the drug supply like fentanyl. Learn more about how drug decriminalization and investing in health, overdose prevention centers, and safer supply can keep people safer.

Reviewed and updated by Jules Netherland, PhD, and Dr. Sheila P. Vakharia on 5/2/2023.

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