Overview: What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid that goes by several street names such as big H, horse, and smack. It is a natural derivative of morphine and technically classified as an opiate. It’s use dates back thousands of years to some of the earliest known civilizations. As is the case with most of the derivations of drugs in the opioid class, heroin is highly potent and highly addictive. Keep reading for answers to the most common questions about heroin.
What Does Heroin Feel Like?
A “heroin high” can come in the form of pain relief or increased pain tolerance, a dreamlike state of relaxation, immense euphoria, or feelings of warmth and safety. The effects are fast-acting and can be felt in as little as a few seconds (depending on the method of use). It has been described as a sudden rush of intense pleasure followed by a feeling of calm or drowsiness.
Although the wave of euphoria is what most heroin abusers are seeking, the effects are quite short-lived and rarely last more than a few minutes. The other psychological effects, a perception of safety or an out-of-body detachment, peak after an hour two, leaving the user in a state of sedation and flickering consciousness for the next 3 to 5 hours. The exact duration and intensity of a heroin trip will be affected by factors such as age, weight, kidney and liver health, and metabolism.
How Is Heroin Used?
Heroin comes in a variety of forms and therefore can be used in a variety of ways. There is injection what can be intravenous (through the veins), subcutaneous (under the skin) and intramuscular (into muscles); oral ingestions (swallowing a pill); smoking, and nasal inhalation (snorting). The method of use can affect how your body reacts to this substance, both in how intense your high is, how quickly it lasts, and how effectively your body is able to metabolize it.
Scientists have found that injecting heroin is the most harmful method of use as it puts a large amount of the drug directly in the bloodstream. The other means of ingestion offer some sort of filtration before the substance is absorbed by the body.
What Does Heroin Look Like? The Different Types of Heroin
Heroin is most commonly sold in the form of a powder though it is available in multiple physical states. Coloration is usually shades of white, brown, and black. Variations in the methods of production and refinement can affect what heroin looks like and feels like. Other defining characteristics such as water solubility, pH balance, heat stability, and purity will play a major role in which ways the heroin can be used.
The purest form of heroin, the color can actually appear as off-white, pink, or beige, depending on which chemicals were used during processing. It is usually snorted or injected because it requires a high temperature in order to use via smoking.
Less refined than white heroin, brown heroin is created in the first stages of heroin’s purification. It is cheaper but much less potent, and usually smoked since it is difficult to dissolve.
Black Tar Heroin
The crudest form of heroin, this sticky substance can be black or dark brown. It is the fastest and cheapest, and also has the lowest amounts of pure heroin, around 25-30%. This is easily melted down and is the version of choice for injection or smoking.
Questions About Heroin Addiction? We Can Help
Heroin is bad news. As an illicit opioid created purely for recreational use of its mind-altering effects, even trying it just once carries incredible risk. Seizures, insomnia, permanent brain damage – these are just a few of the drastic side effects of using heroin. But despite the dangers of this substance, rates of heroin abuse continue to grow. It has gripped tens of thousands of Americans in its clutches into the country’s opioid crisis and last year, killed over 60,000 people. Don’t let yourself or a loved one become another number, contact us today for assistance in managing your heroin addiction.