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  • Identifying Street Heroin

    Heroin is quite popular in the streets and has a reputation for being one of the most notorious drugs with the some of the worst effects on the users.

    What does Heroin Look Like?

    Heroin is sold in large quantities as party drugs and spreading its use even more and faster, a situation that has gotten so bad that the drug has been listed as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning you can do time for illegal possession. Heroin, scientific name diacetylmorphine, is made from morphine as the name implies which is a naturally occurring substance which isn’t synthesized. Morphine is extracted from the seed pod of some Asian poppy plants.

    Morphine is extracted from the seed pod of some Asian poppy plants. In 1874 when heroin was successfully synthesized by British chemist, C. R. Adler, he could not have known that his discovery would become a big problem as the substance which was made for the sole aim of more effective painkilling (it was discovered to be twice as strong as morphine was) without the addiction that morphine seemed to come with. His project, unfortunately, produced a worse version of morphine as heroin is even more addictive and also the fastest acting opiate. Many years on now, heroin is not only killing pain but causing pain and destroying lives for a temporary high.

    What Does Heroin Look Like?

    White powder heroin

    White powder heroin

    Heroin is manufactured and distributed in different forms, some being more concentrated and purer than others and so there is simply not one single answer to the question – what does heroin look like? There is the brown heroin which is known for its easy processing and easy-to-smoke features. There is the white heroin which is considered to be the most refined of all.

    Black tar heroin

    Black tar heroin

    There is the black tar heroin (of Mexican origin) which is by far the fastest and cheapest form to produce, even though it contains a generally low percentage of the actual heroin.

    It is very common to “cut” heroin, that is, to mix it with other impurities so as to reduce its potency and/or maximize the profit made from selling it. Substances used for this purpose are usually relatively harmless powders such as chalk, flour, sucrose, talcum powder, starch etc. These impurities also affect the appearance of the drug. The color could be anything from white, brown, rose-gray to black.

    Heroin is preferred by drug users because its use can be either through snorting or smoking, making it easy to eliminate the need for syringes. This is especially as a result of the attendant risks of sharing needles where deadly infections like HIV and Hepatitis can be contracted. However, the mode of usage does not reduce the risk of becoming addicted to it as is a common misconception.

    Street Names for Heroin

    You won’t find addicts or drug users talk about drugs openly in the society and they would rather use code words to mask the true identity in order to avoid getting into trouble. Over the years, there has been a lot of street names developed for heroin because of its popularity. Some of the well-known street names include:

    Street Heroin Packaging

    Packaged Heroin

    Packaged Heroin

    Heroin is sold on the streets in nifty little packs or capsules that are easy to conceal and are usually weatherproof. This is necessary since they are quickly exchanged for money in operations that need to be fast and hard to notice. Also, the packaging is usually branded, as some sort of quality assurance due to the vastly different ranges of purities and forms the heroin comes in. Some of the most popular packaging techniques include:

    • Aluminum squares: This method is used to package heroin in its white powder form.
    • Latex: Heroin, usually in the form of black tar is tied in latex material, usually from balloons.
    • Capsules: Regular drugs that come in capsules are emptied out and replaced with heroin powder.
    • Ziploc bags: Small Ziploc bags are used to package heroin when it is required in higher quantity especially when it is meant to be resold.

    Heroin Paraphernalia

    spoon-and-syringe

    There are a lot of items that heroin users rely upon to introduce the drug into their systems. Heroin is consumed in a lot of ways and all of them require different items for their respective uses. Some of these items and the ways they are used are as follows:

    • Aluminum foils and lighters: The heroin is placed on the foil and lit at the bottom with the lighter. The heat causes the heroin to burn and make fumes which are inhaled directly or via a tube.
    • Syringes: The heroin is mixed into a solution and injected directly into a vein. This is probably the most unsafe method of using heroin because it is common to share needles or use the same puncture point multiple times till it gets infected.
    • Spoons: These can be used like the aluminum foil to heat the heroin but this time it is prior to being injected intravenously.
    • Cotton balls or cigarette filters: These are used to filter the heroin prior to injection

    Heroin users always come up with new and ingenious ways to get heroin into their system and the above are just some of the common paraphernalia known to be used.

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