For family members and friends of an addict, heroin use is one of the most feared substance abuse problems. It’s known to give the fastest, highest of highs, but destroys lives just as quickly. Produced from morphine, which originates in the opium poppy, heroin comes in different forms, and is ingested in different ways depending on what effect the user is seeking.
Types of Heroin
Heroin is often cut with substances such as flour, starch, talcum powder, sugar, baking soda or strychnine, also known as rat poison. These substances can affect its color, which helps identify its type.
There are three common types of heroin:
Pure, refined heroin. A derivative of white powder heroin is “China white,” which is mixed with Fentanyl, an opiate-based painkiller that’s 100 times stronger than heroin alone. White powder heroin is typically injected or snorted.
Less pure than white powder heroin, brown heroin is a base, which is less soluble. Brown heroin is typically smoked, but can be diluted for injection as well.
Black tar heroin comes in solid form. For use, it needs to be dissolved with a liquid and then can be injected or smoked. There is a liquid form of black tar heroin, usually packaged in eye dropper vials, which is heated, mixed with water and inhaled through the nose.
Heroin Use Methods
There are several different ways that people use heroin.
Injecting heroin is the most common heroin use method and fastest transmission of the drug, as users put it directly into the bloodstream. It can be injected into a vein (known as “mainlining”), into a muscle, or under the skin (known as “skin-popping”).
Injecting heroin produces the most intense high, but it makes it harder to recover from tainted doses as well as exposes the user to infections and diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. It can also lead to medical issues with the veins of an addict.
Commonly known as “chasing the dragon,” smoking heroin gets the drug to the brain faster than intravenous use. The heroin is placed on aluminum foil and burned from underneath with a lighter. Smoke is inhaled using a short tube, such as a toilet paper roll.
The term “chasing the dragon” refers to chasing the high, as well as “chasing” the heroin that moves around the foil, so it doesn’t harden. “Freebasing,” another common term centered around smoking heroin, means that the heroin is mixed with cocaine.
Heroin is often smoked through an opium pipe, though even teapots can be used to smoke the drug.
Snorting heroin, also known as “sniffing,” is accomplished by crushing the drug into a fine powder and inhaling it with a straw, or straw-like tube. This method doesn’t produce as strong of a high as smoking or injecting. This form of heroin use reaches the bloodstream via the mucus membrane tissue in the sinus cavity.
“Crisscrossing” is the act of snorting alternate lines of heroin and cocaine. There is also “shabanging,” where liquid heroin is sniffed from a nasal spray bottle.
No matter how you take heroin, it can quickly take you into its deadly grasp. Entering rehab at Morningside Recovery can help you detox from the drug using the latest detox techniques administered in a medically-supervised environment.
Also known as “stuffing” or “plugging,” heroin can be inserted into the rectum or the vagina. The high is delayed, but is as intense as injecting.
The high dissipates quickly, so repeated use is common, which raises the risk of an overdose.
Heroin can be rubbed on the gums, eaten, or taken under the tongue. This creates much less of a high, and as a result, this method is rarely used by those severely addicted to heroin.
Since more heroin is needed to get a high, compared with other ways of ingesting, and the route of administration is faster, taking the drug orally creates a higher risk for psychological addiction.
Have You Been Hooked on Heroin and Want Help?
No matter how you take heroin, it can quickly take you into its deadly grasp. Entering heroin addiction treatment at Morningside Recovery can help you detox from the drug using the latest detox programs administered in a medically-supervised environment.
For more information about how we can help you get clean, call us at 855-631-2135. Our helpline is open 24/7 and our specialists will work with you to tailor a treatment option that best fights your heroin use problem.