How Is Heroin Made?

Heroin is a drug that has destroyed the lives and ultimately led to death for many of its users. It’s a drug available as a powder or solution that quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier, and allows the user to feel an intense, euphoric high. Unfortunately, not only is that high short-lived, but this opioid is a drug that also quickly leads to tolerance.

When someone builds a tolerance to heroin, it means that they will never achieve the feeling of that initial high and the effects of the drug will become rapidly less profound. Unfortunately, this also what leads to an overdose as the person tries to chase that powerful high they experienced the first time.

The following provides an overview of what heroin is, and also answers questions including “how is heroin made,” and “what is heroin made of.”

How Is Heroin Made?
In general, heroin is made in production facilities, and there are a set of steps that have to be followed. Heroin is originally derived from the seed pod of a poppy plant, which creates a sticky substance that is mixed with chemicals to then create heroin.

So ultimately, when looking at how is heroin made, it starts with a natural ingredient. What happens after that, however, is anything but natural.

There are a few primary types of heroin that are grouped based on their color and appearance. These include:

  • White heroin comes from Southeast Asia usually, and it’s powdery in consistency and is also easier to dissolve, forming a solution. In the U.S. this type of heroin is most often sold in the eastern portion of the country.
  • Black tar heroin is usually manufactured in Mexico, and as the name implies, it’s dark and sticky in appearance. It’s processed in a way that makes it cheaper, and it also has a lot of additives. Because of these additives when someone uses black tar heroin they often experience infections and sores at the injection site.
  • Brown heroin often comes from Southwest Asia and is brown and powdery. It’s harder to dissolve brown heroin than white heroin in water and acid has to be added to it to do so.

There’s also something else that’s relatively recently hit the market called cheese heroin, which is laced with acetaminophen and diphenhydramine hydrochloride. This combination makes this type of heroin incredibly deadly because of the significant respiratory depression it causes.

There are also heroin solutions that can be created to inject the drug directly into the veins.

When asking what is heroin made of, along with the primary ingredients many people don’t realize that the majority of all heroin sold in the U.S. is cut with other substances. It’s basically impossible to determine whether you’re getting pure heroin or it has something else in it.

Along with considering how is heroin made, it’s incredibly important for people to explore what is heroin made of. So often it’s not just the effects of the drug itself that are damaging to people, but also the additives it’s cut with. When you buy illicit drugs, you never know what you’re actually consuming. Heroin is very frequently, in fact almost always cut with additives to make it more profitable for the dealer.

Some of the things heroin is cut with are incredibly dangerous, particularly if they’re injected into your veins, and they can include quinine, which is a medicine used for the treatment of malaria. If heroin is cut with quinine, it can cause side effects like kidney damage and serious bleeding problems.

Other things heroin is cut with include caffeine, starch, and powdered milk.

A relatively new trend that’s also increasing the number of overdose deaths is the addition of fentanyl to heroin. Fentanyl is extremely powerful, much more so than even heroin alone, and it can lead to a fatal overdose rapidly, yet people don’t know their heroin contains the drug. There may also be morphine and codeine found in heroin and many other impurities.

How is heroin made and what is heroin made of are two important questions for people to have an understanding of because the impurity of heroin in the U.S. is one of many reasons it’s so dangerous.

How Is Heroin Made?
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