Despite the fact that federal spending on the drug war increased from $1.65 billion in 1982 to $17.7 billion in 1999, more than half of the students in the United States in 1999 tried an illegal drug before they graduated from high school. Additionally, 65% have tried cigarettes by 12th grade and 35% are current smokers, and 62% of twelfth graders and 25% of 8th graders in 1999 report having been drunk at least once.
Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Street names for heroin include "smack," "H," "skag," and "junk." Other names may refer to types of heroin produced in a specific geographical area, such as "Mexican black tar."
In an article in 1998, The Journal of the American Medical Association claimed that adverse drug reactions may cause more than 100,000 deaths a year in the US alone.