Heroin is a synthetic opioid drug made from morphine. Morphine is commonly used in hospitals to treat patients after surgery and those with conditions that cause severe pain. While morphine has medical use, heroin does not. It is primarily a street drug and is considered a Schedule I substance according to the Controlled Substances Act.
Regarding heroin usage in the US, more than 70,000 people overdosed on synthetic opioids, including heroin, in 2021. Heroin targets the brain’s pleasure center to induce a powerful sense of euphoria. This keeps the brain from producing its own pleasure hormones and instead forces it to rely on the presence of the drug.