Health Alcohol and Drugs Heroin and opiates What are heroin and opiates? Heroin is mostly associated with poverty, street crime and homelessness and only a small percentage of the LGBTQ+ community use it. Opiates (including Valium or Diazepam), are sometimes used recreationally by gay men to manage comedowns resulting from other chems drugs (like Tina or Meow Meow) or to help users to fall asleep after being high for too long. How do heroin and opiates affect my health? Heroin is highly addictive and, because users usually inject it, it is important not to share needles in order to avoid passing on HIV and hep C. Opiates are just as addictive and you can build up tolerance quite quickly. Stopping opiates after having taken them for a long time is best done under medical supervision as they are physically addictive and carry the same dangers as abruptly stopping heroin. Can I mix heroin and opiates with alcohol and other drugs? Combining heroin and opiates with alcohol is dangerous as both substances slow down the respiratory system and the brain and could cause them to fail. Are heroin and opiates illegal? Heroin is an illegal Class A drug which could lead to a seven year jail sentence for possession. Sleeping pills, Valium, Diazepam and other opiates are prescription drugs.What else are heroin and opiates known as? Street names for heroin include: smack, H, gear, skag, horse, junk, China white and brown. Other names for Valium/Diazepam include: Vs, yellow Vs, blue Vs, Benzos, dead flower powers, downers, Foofoo, Howards, sleep away, tranks (tranquilizers). What do I need to know if I am planning to take heroin? The effect of heroin can last for a long period of time and the drug shouldn’t be mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Although not really a sex drug and one which isn’t used by many gay men, if used for sex, heroin can blur your judgement and you are less likely to use condoms. It’s also important not to share needles and equipment to prevent exposure to or transmission of HIV and hep C. Using opiates for too long can make you addicted. If you want to stop using them, it’s wise to do so under medical supervision. Avoid using alcohol when taking sleeping pills.