What Is Heroin? What Does Heroin Look Like? | Yellowstone Recovery

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What Is Heroin?

Heroin is considered a Class I Controlled Substance and is illegal. It is made from naturally occurring morphine. Natural morphine is produced by extracting the substance from the seed pod found on opium poppy plants.

A Brief History of Heroin

The drug was discovered in 1874 by Charles Romley Adler Wright, an English chemist. Initially, it was believed that heroin would not have the addictive qualities of morphine, and it would address the widespread and growing number of people becoming addicted to morphine. Heroin was even marketed by pharmaceutical companies as being a “non-addictive and safe” drug!

What Is Heroin

Heroin, morphine, cocaine, and other such drugs considered illegal today, were readily available in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It wasn’t until 1920, when Congress passed the Dangerous Drugs Act, that these and other drugs became illegal.

What Does Heroin Look Like?


Heroin can look different, largely based on where the poppy plants are grown and how it is processed. One of the best-known forms of heroin people are most familiar with is a white powder. Aside from this well-known form, heroin can also be a brown powder, black powder, or gray powder. The color of the powder is directly related to the additives used to cut the pure heroin powder. In fact, most street heroin is not pure and only contains a small fraction of heroin.

Another form of heroin is a black tar-like sticky substance. This form of heroin occurs when it is not fully processed to transform it into a powder. Black tar heroin is commonly found in Mexico, as well as in the Western United States. However, since it costs less than powdered heroin, its use is spreading.

How Is Heroin Made?

Heroin is made from liquid morphine and specific chemical processes that transform it into a powdery substance. If the process is not fully complete, the result is a sticky tar-like substance. Pure white heroin is then mixed with different powdery substances, like flour, baking powder, powdered sugar, chalk, and so on.

How Is Heroin Taken?

Heroin is taken in a variety of different ways, depending on the individual. One of the more common methods is to mix the powder with water and heat it up on a spoon before using a needle to inject it into the body.

How Is Heroin Taken

Heroin can also be taken orally or snorted up the nose, like cocaine. Some people smoke heroin by rolling it into a joint and smoking it. Others prefer to inhale the vapors created when heating powdered heroin up on a sheet of aluminum foil. Another less-used method is to take the heroin rectally.

Heroin users often use a mixture of the above methods to attempt to try to hide their drug addiction, especially after a loved one discovers they are using the drug and wants them to quit, but they cannot since the addiction is too strong. To successfully overcome an addiction to heroin, it requires completing a drug treatment program at Yellowstone Recovery. Call us at (888) 941-9048 today to find out about our affordable rehab programs.

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