What Does Heroin Look Like?

Published On February 13, 2018 | By William Thomas | Health

Whether you’re just curious or suspect someone you know is using, it’s vital to recognize the signs of heroin abuse including finding the substance. You’ll need to know what does heroin look like in order to identify it. The drug is a derivative of the poppy plant. As a highly physically addictive substance, heroin has the potential to destroy lives, so recognizing it and offering your helping hand can be the difference between life and death for someone.

Definition of Heroin 
Heroin classifies as an opiate because it originates from the poppy plant. It’s similar in nature to drugs like morphine and opium. Making the drug starts with retrieving the milky sap inside of the poppy flower, known as opium. Next, it undergoes two refining processes to create various forms of heroin.

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History of Heroin
Charles Romley Adler Wright, an English chemist, discovered the heroin in 1874 as a less addictive alternative to morphine. Pharmaceutical companies deemed the drug as non-addictive and safe, but it was discovered to be highly addictive and was taken off the market in 1912. Today, heroin classifies as a schedule I federally controlled substance as denoted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. A schedule I substance is highly addictive and has no current medicinal purpose in the United States.

After it became a federally controlled substance, law enforcement was able to intervene legally for the possession and delivery of the drug. Depending on the state, a person caught for a first-time possession charge for having the narcotic can serve up to a year and receive a hefty fine. The sentences worsen as the number of offenses increases. In some states who have the “three strikes” law, a third possession of heroin charge can result in life imprisonment.

Identifying Heroin
Properly addressing a situation where you discover heroin can save that person from legal consequences, health problems and even death. When answering. “what does heroin look like,” you have to understand it either comes as a powder or a sticky or hard, brown to black substance known as black tar heroin. The powder form may be smoked, snorted or injected while most black tar heroin users inject or grind it into a powder. Black tar heroin is the cheapest, simplest and quickest to make since it’s purification process is incomplete.

What does heroin look like, depends upon the purity of the substance. The powder form of heroin may range in color from black to gray to brown to white. Brown heroin tends to be less potent because it has only undergone the first stage of purification. It’s easier to produce than white heroin. Additionally, brown heroin burns at a lower temperature, so it’s more easily smokable. In order for brown heroin to become water soluble, it must have an acid added to it.

What does heroin look like changes when its in its purest form. The most refined kind of heroin is white heroin because it undergoes a full purification process involving hydrochloric acid and ether. Sometimes, white heroin appears as an off-white, brownish, beige or pink powder because of the chemicals used during the manufacturing process. White heroin tends to be the most expensive while black tar heroin is the least expensive. Many users opt to use it intravenously because of its high burning temperature.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a heroin problem, contact Yellowstone Recovery, serving Costa Mesa, CA and the surrounding area, by calling 833-591-5858 today. 

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