Heroin Identification

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If you have never used heroin before, you may be unfamiliar with what it looks like. However, if you suspect that someone you love has started to use heroin or another substance, knowing what heroin looks like might be helpful knowledge. Heroin comes in a few distinct forms that can be readily identified.

Identifying Heroin From Other Types of Opioids

Heroin is an opioid made from morphine, which is taken from the resin of the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Some prescription opioids you may already be familiar with includes codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. Opioids are often prescribed by doctors and used for pain management, but should always be used under close supervision of a healthcare professional. Heroin is different from other opioids because it is semi-synthetic. Prescription opioids are synthetic, meaning that they are chemically made in a laboratory. Heroin is made from processed morphine that is harvested from the poppy plant. Heroin enters the brain more quickly than other opioids and produces a more immediate effect.

The Different Colors of Heroin

White heroin is commonly believed to be the most pure form of heroin, and, therefore, the most safe. However, this is not always the case. White heroin is often cut with other substances to increase the weight, and therefore the profit from selling. At times, these other substances introduce dangers of their own. It is more dangerous to produce white heroin than other forms and requires specialized equipment and materials. White heroin is commonly injected or inhaled.

Brown heroin is not as refined as white heroin. It does not require any special equipment or skill to produce, but is also less potent than white heroin. Brown heroin does not dissolve well in water, but has a low burning temperature, so this type of heroin is typically smoked.

Black tar heroin is the least refined type of heroin. It can be dark orange, dark brown, or totally black in appearance. Instead of being a powder, black tar heroin is sometimes either sticky or rock-like. Black tar heroin is the most crude form of heroin, and is inexpensive and easy to produce.

Different Packaging Of Heroin

Heroin is typically packaged in a way that will be less noticeable to authorities looking for illicit substances. It is often placed in folded-up squares of aluminum which are placed in small plastic zip-lock bags, but heroin dealers have invented innovative ways to move their product. Unfortunately some of these methods are dangerous to those who are transporting heroin. One example is to empty gelatin capsules of their original contents, then replace the contents with heroin powder, and finally swallow the capsules or even insert them into a body cavity in order to transport the heroin undetected.

Slang Terms of Heroin And Other Names Heroin It’s Known by

Heroin is known by many different names. A few of the most common ones are:

  • Tar
  • Dope
  • Smack
  • H
  • Chiba
  • He
  • White horse
  • Brown Sugar
  • White stuff
  • White lady
  • Boy
  • Black Pearl
  • Snowball

Along with these names, certain mixtures of heroin and other substances are called by different names. For example, mixing heroin with cold medicine is called cheese. Another example is that, if heroin is mixed with crack, it is known as dragon rock, moon rock, or chocolate rock.

Why Identification of Heroin Matters

Knowing how to properly identify heroin helps a person protect themselves and their family from unknowingly coming in contact with a dangerous substance. If you believe that a loved one is using heroin, you may be able to get an idea of the type of heroin being used. However, remember that the only failsafe way to identify a drug with testing is from a professional.

Get Treatment For Heroin Addiction

We believe that the best way to help yourself or your loved one who is experiencing heroin addiction is professional treatment at a licensed heroin addiction treatment facility. Detox from heroin is rarely life-threatening, but it is intense and can be a deterrent to someone getting off of heroin. Licensed medical professionals at treatment centers can help the person detox as comfortably as possible while helping them to achieve their recovery goals. Then one can engage in the real work of finding and enjoying a life in recovery, often through counseling and group therapy.

At East Coast Recovery Center, we are passionate about helping those suffering from heroin use achieve success in recovery and life. Our campus is located 20 minutes outside of Boston in Cohasset, Massachusetts. We are excited to work with you to determine the best path forward in your recovery journey.

FAQs About The Identification of Heroin

What Does Heroin Smell Like?

Pure white heroin will usually not smell like anything. However, most white heroin is mixed with other substances or additives. It can take on the smell of these additives. A few examples of additives used are sugar, powdered milk, caffeine, and acetaminophen. Less pure forms of heroin may have a strong vinegar smell. This is because vinegar is a byproduct of the chemical processes used to make heroin. Black tar heroin may smell like burnt coffee or acid. It is sometimes mixed with shoe polish or quinine, which can affect the smell of the heroin.What Does Heroin Taste Like?

All forms of heroin are described as having a bitter taste. This taste is due to the chemicals that are used in the manufacturing process. Additives that may be present in the heroin will also affect the taste of the substance. For example, if the heroin has been mixed with sugar it may have a sweet taste.

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