Quest Diagnostics

Drug testing for heroin

Heroin is an opioid compound that is similar to morphine but possesses a higher addiction risk. Users inject, inhale or snort the drug in order to rapidly deliver the drug to the brain. Under federal law, it is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medical use and has a high potential for abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, side effects can include constipation and gastrointestinal cramping, liver and/or kidney disease and an increased risk of developing infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV through the use of intravenous drug administration. Chronic heroin use leads to physical dependence and severe withdraw symptoms.
Research from the National Drug Intelligence Center shows that heroin use has increased 79% from 2007 to 2012. It appears that with the high costs associated with prescription opiates, some drug users are turning to cheaper alternatives like heroin.
View the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ for trends in drug testing. 
Download our reference guide for Common Drugs of Abuse.