What is Heroin Cut With And How Dangerous the Additives Can Be

Heroin is one of the powerful yet illegal street drugs derived from morphine. It is known as producing euphoric effects in the brain when it is taken in.

Cutting Heroin

Its attraction and addiction may result in overdosing thereby making the brain and the body to build a tolerance to its use.

Heroin is referred to differently in different streets. The common names used to refer to heroin include ‘dope’, ‘junk’, ‘smack’, ‘mud’, ‘H’, ‘horse’ and ‘brown’ among others.

Basically, due to the strong nature of the drug, sellers and dealers cut heroin using different materials. To ‘cut’ the drug means to add certain other drugs that are less toxic or harmful so as to make the seller get more of the drug sold out. To cut heroin is more like to make alcohol less strong by watering it. The only difference may be that heroin cut is mostly associated with dangerous substances as compared to alcohol ‘cut’. And since heroin comes in white powder, it may easily be ‘cut’ with other materials and it still passes as pure heroin. After cutting, the end product is normal between a white and brown powder.

What does it mean if heroin is “cut” with something?

If someone says a drug like heroin is “cut” with something, this means that different substances have been added to the mixture in an attempt to dilute it. One of the most dangerous things about heroin is that there’s no sure way for a normal person to tell exactly what the drug may be cut with.

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What is heroin cut with?

Dealers often cut heroin with one or more of the following:

  • Baking soda or starch
  • Powdered milk
  • Caffeine
  • Crushed OTC painkillers
  • Sugar
  • Talcum powder
  • Quinine
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Rat poison

Materials Used to Cut With

The practice of heroin is widespread today. There are certain materials or substances that are used to cut heroin. Some of these materials may be dangerous as well while others are safe on the body. Use of toxic additives is a common danger to cut of heroin. Some common materials used by heroin sellers to ‘cut’ heroin are:

  • baking soda, starch,
  • powdered milk
  • caffeine
  • crushed painkillers (bought over-the-counter)
  • sugar
  • talcum powder
  • quinine
  • laundry detergent and rat poison among other substances.

How can you tell if heroin is cut with something?

It is not always possible to tell if heroin is cut with something. If it was cut using something like powdered sugar or milk, the substance may taste sweeter than normal, as heroin is known to have an extremely bitter taste. However, more bitter substances can be used, so this test cannot be relied upon.

Why Heroin is Dangerous

Since there are a number of negative effects in use of heroin, particularly because no user is sure of the kind of materials mixed in it, it is always safe to take measures before trusting any seller. Moreover, manufacture of heroin is considered illegal, leave alone selling it. No quality assurance is put in place nor regulations on what should be included as ingredients in the drug. And since this whole stuff is done in the backyards and streets, no one will be so sure to point out what exactly is inside a powder of heroin.

Heroin is made more dangerous by sellers who try to cut it with dangerous materials or substances. The use of toxic substances on heroin and other such potentially dangerous materials is common in sellers who want to increase profits out of the deal.

These additives or added substances are in most cases unknown and may vary from one powder batch to the other depending on where it has been sought or obtained. This may also increase the possibility of an overdose in the user since you do not know the type of chemicals or toxic substances you are taking in.

How to Cut Heroin

Heroin is a bitter tasting substance before it is cut. Most people know it as pure when it is bitterer. However, when it is sweeter, then it is known to be less pure. Heroin is particularly cut depending on whether it is the powdered type of the heroin solution. In most cases, there are various ways in which heroin is cut.

Normally, the powder is cut using powdered sugar, milk, lactose or sometime Vitamin B12. Other people may cut the powdered heroin using quinine, rat poisons, talcum powder and laundry chemicals among other toxic substances. These substances are not recommended since they may harm the users. It is for this reason that some dealers use quinine to cut heroin since quinine is equally bitter in taste. So heroin cut with quinine will still be bitter even when it is less pure and regardless of how much it is cut.

Apart from the powdered heroin, another type, tar, can also be cut using different materials. Compared to the powdered heroin, tar is a bit complex to cut. For the powder, you will only need to add the two contents and mix. However, for black tar, the two substances are dissolved in water first then the material used to cut will dissolve in the water. Once this happens, the mixture is stirred until it appears as one solution.


Use of heroin may lead to overdose, a common after-effect of using heroin. Since none of the substances used in cutting heroin is safe, they are bound to have effects in a person’s bloodstream. Others though are safe and do not cause overdosing.

Caffeine and some other stimulants used in heroin are dangerous, particularly because they can easily cause an overdose.

Overdosing means the use of the drug in a way that affects the normal functioning of the body and the brain. Most of the overdose cases may not be treatable leading to high chances of brain damage or even death. This is because some substances used in cutting heroin do not dissolve in the body hence causing serious health complications. When such substances are injected into the body, they may block arteries leading to heart conditions or even liver damage among other serious health complications.

Some signs of an overdose of heroin include disorientation of the user, lack of breathing, snoring, lack of response to any stimuli, disturbed breathing, unconsciousness, weak legs and arms, bluish finger nail and general body weakness among others.

Final Thoughts

Cutting heroin requires that one understands the nature of substances he or she uses in doing the same. As much as heroine cut is perceived as a way for sellers to add to their proceeds, it is sometimes done with good motives. If not properly done or done to increase profit margin (with harmful substances), heroine cut may pose harmful effects to the user including serious health implications and even fatality.

What is Heroin Cut With And How Dangerous the Additives Can Be

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