How Is Heroin Made?
Heroin is a drug that has destroyed the lives and ultimately led to the death of countless people. It’s a drug available as a powder or solution that quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes 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 is 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.”
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. This type of heroin is most often sold in the eastern portion of the United States.
- 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. When someone uses black tar heroin, they often experience infections and sores at the injection site because of these additives.
- 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 another form of heroin that recently hit the market called cheese heroin, which is laced with acetaminophen and diphenhydramine hydrochloride. This combination makes this type of heroin incredibly deadly.
There are also heroin solutions that can be created to inject the drug directly into the veins.
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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 substances heroin can be 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 an extremely powerful opioid and it can quickly lead to a fatal overdose, yet people don’t know their heroin contains the drug. There may also be morphine and codeine found in heroin.
When asking what is heroin made of, many people don’t realize that the majority of heroin sold in the U.S. is cut with other substances. It’s basically impossible to determine whether you’re getting pure heroin or if it has something else in it.
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.