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What is Heroin
By Jorge (George) Fernandez
Heroin is without a doubt, the absolute worst drug in the world and is the most addictive drug amongst its class of illegal drugs.  There is no other drug like heroin.

Heroin is a highly addictive and rapidly acting opiate, (a drug that is derived from opium).

It is produced from morphine, which is the main component of opium. Opium is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seedpod of the Asian opium poppy plant.
What heroin looks like
The appearance of heroin varies. Heroin is normally sold as a powder that is white (or off-white) in color. White powder.
The purer the heroin the whiter the color. However, variations in color result from the presence of impurities such as when heroin comes in light shades of grey as well as beige powder.

Again, heroin, when pure, comes as a white powder but usually contains other substances as well, such as glucose, talcum powder, brick dust and other filler impurities.
When heroin is impure it can also come as a brown powder and sometimes contains caffeine. Most street heroin is "cut" with other drugs or substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Street heroin can also be cut with strychnine, bleach or other poisons. However, purer heroin has become more common and more available today than ever before.

A $20 "dope bag", or single dose of heroin, may contain 50 milligrams of powdered heroin and normally comes in small balloons, baggies, pill caps or white sealed bags with an image brand stamped on the baggies.
Black Tar Heroin is produced primarily in Mexico. It is one of the most prevalent forms of heroin in the western United States, while also found in western Canada and Europe. Mexican heroin has a hashish-like, non- powdery consistency (though it can also appear as a dark brown or dark orange powder), which distinguishes itself from other forms of heroin.

The largest producers of heroin in general are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Mexico and Columbia.
  Heroin, also called dope, is known by many different names as well. Street Terms for Heroin are:
  Antifreeze, Aries, Aunt Hazel, Balloon, Ballot, Big Bag, Big H, Big Harry, Black, Black Tar, BTH, Black pearl, Black stuff, Blanco, Bombs away, Bonita, Boy, Bozo, Brick gum, Brother, Brown, Brown crystal, Brown rhine, Brown sugar, Bundle, Butu, Caballo, Caca, Caps, Capital H, Carga, Carne, Charley, Chiba, Chicle, China cat, China white, Chinese red, Chick, Chip, Chiva, Cotics, Crap/crop, Crown crap, La Cura, the Cure, Dead on arrival, Diesel, D, Dirt, Dog food, Doggie, Doogie/doojee/dugie, Dooley, Dope, Dreck, Duji, Dyno, Dyno-pure, Eighth, Estuffa, Ferry dust, Galloping horse, Gamot, Gato, Gear, George smack, Glacines, Golden girl, Golpe, Goma, Good and plenty, Good H, H, H Caps, Hache, Hairy, Hard candy, Hard stuff, Harry, Harry Jones, Hazel, Heavy Stuff, Heaven dust, Harowin, Helen, Hell dust, Henry, Hero, Heroin, Heroina, Herone, Heron, Hessle, Him, Hombre, Horse, Hot dope, Hot heroin, HRN, Isda, Jee gee, Jive, Jive doo jee, Jojee, Jones, Joy flakes, Junk, Judas, Kabayo, Karachi, Load, Manteca, Material, Matsakow, Mexican horse, Mexican mud, Mexican black, Mister Brownstone, Morotgara, Mud, Muzzle, Nanoo, New Jack Swing, Nice and easy, Nickel deck, Noise, Nose, Number 4, Number 8, Ogoy, Old Steve, Opium, OP, P-dope, Pangonadalot, Peg, Perfect High, Poison, Polvo, Poppy, Powder, Pulborn, Pure, Rainbows, Rambo, Red chicken, Red eagle, Reindeer dust, Rhine, Sack, Salt, Scag, Scat, Scate, Scott Schmack, Smack, Schmeck, Skid, Sleeper, Slime, Spider blue, Stamps, Stuff, Sweet Jesus, Tar, Taste, Tecate, The beast, The witch, Tic, Tootsie roll, Thunder, Train, White, White junk, White boy, White horse, White nurse, White lady, White stuff, Witch hazel and most likely many more.
  How heroin is consumed
Heroin is snorted/sniffed, smoked/inhaled and/or injected intravenously. And back in the old school days, almost all heroin users started off snorting heroin and swore that they would never shoot up. Back then, shooting up was rock bottom and for real junkies only. It was rare to see pretty girls shooting up or using heroin at all. Then inhaling/smoking, or what they call 'chasing the dragon' came on the scene and those users said the same thing; “I will never shoot up”.

As a teenager, I said the same thing, "I would never shoot up"...

But sure enough, within a few years of snorting heroin I started shooting up. I graduated from snorting to sticking needles in my arm within a few short years. Most heroin addicts have their friends shoot them up at first and then in time, learn how to prepare the syringe and shoot themselves up.
  Snorting/sniffing heroin
When snorting/sniffing heroin, the user will normally empty the entire $20 heroin bag on a small flat surface, CD cover, mirror, or in a dollar bill. Then they'll form a line or pile with the heroin and snort it with a rolled up dollar bill, straw or take small passes with a key.
  If there is no paraphernalia available at the moment, the user may empty the bag on his fist near the beginning of the thumb and then lean in, close the other nostril and snort it all up at once.
The user will then snort hard to take down every last bit of heroin within her nostrils as if she was trying to swallow her own mucus.

So when you hear someone snorting/sniffing that hard as if they wanted to swallow their own mucus, then chances are, they're making sure all of the heroin goes down their throat, or they're snorting cocaine, or they're just simply gross and don’t mind the taste of swallowing their own mucus.

And of course, the individual may have a cold and have some flem stuck in their throat and be sick as well. The former statement is in relation to drug use and snorting heroin.

When snorting heroin, peak high comes within 4-7 minutes of snorting the heroin powder and then peace and sedation begins while all of their problems seem to vanish away.
  Most users who snort heroin later graduate to shooting up because as their bodies become conditioned to the heroin, the high and effects it produces become less intense. Furthermore, snorting heroin does not give the user that ultimate “heroin rush” which comes from shooting up. And as a result, they then turn to injecting heroin- a more efficient means of administering the drug to try to achieve the ultimate high.

And once they do shoot up, then they never go back to snorting or smoking heroin as neither will satisfy to the degree of shooting up. The result is a graduated heroin addict who went from snorting or smoking heroin to shooting dope and is now on his way to becoming a junkie.
  Inhaling/smoking heroin
Inhaling/smoking heroin, also known as "Chasing the Dragon" is another method that is being used more and more today, especially by our younger generation.

The availability of high-purity heroin, the spread of HIV infection amongst shooters, and the negative stereotype of shooters, also known as junkies, prompt many new users to limit themselves to inhaling/smoking or chasing the dragon.
When chasing the dragon, the user will tear a thin strip of foil with a width of about three inches off of the roll. They fold the strip twice making three even rectangles and tear the foil along the folds. The user may also make a straw out of foil as well.

Regular drinking straws will melt and will not allow the user to scrape and collect the resin off of it. With another piece of the same sized foil he’ll roll the foil around a pen to shape it like a straw.

He or she will then lay the heroin/opium/tar on the aluminum foil, then pass a lighter underneath the foil to vaporize the heroin instead of burning it.

The heroin/opium/tar will liquefy and burn in place or drip/roll. The user will then take his foil made straw, put it to his lips and follow/chase the moving tar and inhale the smoke coming off of it. This is called, 'chasing the dragon'.

Heroin can also be mixed with tobacco or marijuana and smoked in a pipe, joint or cigarette. When heroin is sniffed or smoked, peak effects are usually felt within 4-7 minutes.
  And although smoking and sniffing heroin does not produce a "rush" as quickly or as intensely as intravenous injection, all three forms of doing heroin are highly addictive. However, injecting heroin continues to be the predominant method for heroin use among addicted users seeking treatment; yet researchers have also observed a shift in heroin use patterns, from injecting to snorting and smoking. In fact, snorting heroin is now a widely reported means of taking heroin among users admitted for drug treatment. It's the cleanest, easiest and fastest way to do heroin without paraphernalia, making it that much easier for the user to get high no matter where they are.

With the shift in heroin abuse patterns comes an even more diverse group of users. Older users (over 30) continue to be one of the largest user groups, and the older they are, then the harder it becomes for them to quit. Furthermore, now there’s been an increase in new, young users across the globe who are being lured by inexpensive, high-purity heroin that can be snorted or smoked instead of being injected. Even the most prettiest girls are being pulled and enslaved by this heroin demon.

Heroin has been appearing in more upscale, high class communities as well. It's made its way into the homes of good wealthy families and turns good kids into junkies. And as long as these kids keep getting money, then most likely, they’ll continue to use.

  Injecting/shooting-up heroin:
Injecting, also known as shooting, banging, hitting, slamming and mainlining heroin is the last stage which brings the ultimate high and the risk for death as well. Once the user has gotten to this point, then their sole purpose for living becomes to seek and use heroin no matter what the costs or who they hurt in the process.

From here on out they become a slave to heroin. Their #1 priority, first thing in the morning will be to get that first fix by any means necessary. They'll need to have it just to feel normal. And if they don't get it soon then they'll become very very sick, vomiting, going through bone crushing legs pains and back pains, ice cold chills and the worst withdrawal symptoms known to mankind.

Heroin withdrawal is an agonizing nightmare and thus the reason why most people can’t just quit. They would have been much better off smoking or snorting it rather than shooting it up. This is the last straw. If they don't realize that they have a problem by now then they can say goodbye to their life; unless of course, they reach out for help or someone helps them to see the light.
  A painful and almost deadly struggle is the only way out from here - that is, if they manage to make it out of this thing alive. There must be a struggle in one form or another if they’re ever going to make it. The only other way out is death.

Injecting, in addition to producing an unspeakable "high", is a more economical method of administering the drug. In other words, they'll get more “high” for their dollar. By injecting the heroin, rather than smoking or snorting it, more intense highs are achieved with less heroin along with a bonus “rush”. Addicts look forward to this heroin rush each and every day.

Users who choose this method generally inject directly into a major vein on their arm and/or other areas on their body, although some may start by injecting under the skin (popping). Either way, injecting is rock bottom for the heroin user. And after they reach this point, they’ll do whatever it takes to get high.

Injecting requires the use of a syringe to inject the heroin directly into the bloodstream. Typically, a heroin addict may inject up to four times a day or more. Shooting up provides the greatest high and most rapid onset of euphoria, usually within 7 to 8 seconds. However, shooting up is a process which also takes time. When preparing to inject heroin the user will tear a small piece of cotton from the tip of a q-tip or from the filter of his cigarette and roll it up into a little ball.
He'll then empty the $20 heroin bag into a spoon. Using the syringe that he probably obtained from a diabetic, he’ll squirt a dab of water (50-70 units) into the spoon.

Then he’ll pass a burning lighter under the spoon to dissolve the heroin into the water. He puts the cotton ball into the spoon and stirs the new heroin solution with the needle.
He’ll then extract the solution up into the syringe with the cotton ball at the tip of the syringe. The cotton is necessary to filter out any particles or germs from the heroin solution and may be saved for later use as well. The user then carefully and sparingly squirts out a few tiny droplets of the heroin solution from within the syringe in order to remove air bubbles from the solution. It's quite possible that the user can die if those air bubbles manage to make their way into the bloodstream.
  He or she will then place the needle flat on the bend of their arm in order to keep the needle still.

The user inserts the needle into the vein, then slowly pulls blood from the vein back into the syringe mixing it with the heroin solution and then slowly injects the entire solution, blood and heroin, back into the vein.

Within 7 to 8 seconds the heroin reaches the brain and binds to the natural opioid receptors which causes the user to experience the greatest high of their life.

They reach the peak of peace and pure euphoria. A wonderful warmth takes over your body. Your head is still there but your brain falls back along with your soul.

The user then reaches a half conscious state called nodding where their head keeps dropping. Sedation is achieved. Drowsiness, grogginess, and the ultimate high is the end result.

At the same time, their body is instantly healed from the most painful withdrawals in the world. All withdrawal symptoms disappear within seconds. They are now 100% completely healed and off to wonderland. All of their problems are gone. Nothing else exist - not even you.

Soon after injection, heroin crosses the blood-brain barrier. In the brain, heroin is quickly converted to morphine and binds to opioid receptors within seconds. Injecting heroin is so addictive because it enters the brain so quickly and relieves bone-crushing pains instantly. Sometimes, especially with new users, the rush is accompanied by dry mouth, and a heavy feeling, which may be followed by nausea, vomiting, and severe itching. This is why you'll see users scratching their heads and faces to relieve the itching.

After the initial effects of the high, users will remain drowsy for several hours. Mental function is clouded by heroin’s effect upon the central nervous system. Their heart rate slows down tremendously. Breathing is also severely depressed, sometimes to the point of death.

Heroin overdose, OD, is a serious risk on the street, where the amount and purity of the drug cannot be precisely known. And fatalities from heroin overdoses are rising more and more each year.

Although the initial rush fades within minutes, the sense of contentment and physical relaxation of the heroin "high" generally last one to two hours long. The heroin high is known as "the ultimate high" and sooner or later, becomes the main goal for all heroin users.
  Other adverse effects heroin has on your health:
Heroin abuse is associated with serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and in users who inject the drug - infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Sharing a needle just 1 time with the wrong person can bring death just as it happened to a dear friend of mine 20 years ago. He shared a needle with the wrong person one time, and within a few months he withered away and died.

Serious heroin users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and liver or kidney disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health of the user as well as from heroin’s depressing effects on respiration.
  In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin often contains toxic contaminants or additives that can clog the blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage to vital organs.

Continued use of heroin leads to physical dependence, addiction, a state in which the body has adapted to the presence of heroin within the body and can not live nor function properly without it. If an addict reduces or stops use of the drug abruptly, he or she will experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

These symptoms, which can begin as early as several hours after their last hit, will include restlessness, back pain, muscle and excruciating bone pains, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, ice chilling cold flashes with goose bumps, and leg kicking movements. Living without it becomes impossible. They'll feel as if they're actually going to go crazy and die.

Users also experience severe craving for the drug during withdrawal, which can cause continued use and/or relapse rather quickly. Without the heroin in their system they truly feel that they’re going to die from the pain and agony of withdrawal.

Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose was administered and typically decrease after about 1-2 weeks. Some individuals in poor health may show persistent withdrawal symptoms for months.

Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users who are poor in health is rarely fatal. However, continual vomiting from withdrawals can put a serious strain on the esophagus, even to the point of tearing.

The craving for heroin can persist for months, and even up to a year after the user has quit, especially upon exposure to triggers such as stress or people, places and other aspects associated with drug use. This is why, in order to quit heroin and stay clean for good - total separation is a must!
  Heroin addiction and pregnancy:
Heroin addiction during pregnancy, together with related factors like poor nutrition and inadequate prenatal care, has been associated with adverse consequences for the baby including low birth weight, which is an important risk factor for later developmental delay.

If the mother is regularly taking heroin, the infant may be born physically dependent on heroin and could suffer from serious medical complications requiring hospitalization. Pregnant women addicted to heroin should always seek the help and consultation from a physician right away.
  Typical behavior of a heroin user
Heroin can turn good people into monsters. The behavioral impact of habitual heroin use is generally devastating. Most users are incapable of concentration, learning or clear thought. It's a miracle that they're able to read my website at all.

Rarely are they able to hold down jobs unless they learn how to become functioning addicts, in which the user works a normal job to support themselves and their daily heroin habit while living a fairly organized yet secretive life.

Functioning addicts are the hardest to spot, while typical addicts are unconcerned, unresponsive to consequences and unable to sustain personal relationships other than those with their dope-friends.

For many addicts, the inability to earn enough money to support their habit by normal means, eventually, leads to crime and even prostitution.

Heroin turns most users into liars, thieves and Hollywood actors.

For the overwhelming majority, guilt and remorse fades away and compulsive use prompts behavior that is reckless, ruthless and totally irresponsible. A typical addict is often antisocial as well, and simply becomes numb to the pain or loss it causes for others as well as themselves.
  Heroin statistics:
Over 22 million individuals have a substance dependence problem in the US. 14 percent of admissions to publicly funded drug abuse programs were for heroin treatment.

Approximately 3.5 million Americans aged 12 or older reported trying heroin at least once during their lifetimes. (ONDCP)

According to Drug Abuse Warning Network, (DAWN), heroin and morphine accounted for 51% of drug deaths ruled accidental or unexpected.

Of an estimated 108 million emergency department (ED) visits in the U.S., the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) estimates that 1,449,154 were drug-related. DAWN data indicates that heroin was involved in 164,572 ED visits.

The heroin addict spends anywhere from $20 to $500 per day to maintain their heroin addiction. All of these statistics become much more higher day by day and will increase rapidly as time goes on. Heroin use, addiction and overdose are on the rise. And it's not going to get any better; in fact, it's going to get worse as time goes on. Yet only 1% of heroin addicts manage to quit heroin, stay clean and turn their lives around. 1%!

Can heroin addiction really be conquered?

Yes it can, if the heroin addict themselves truly want to quit or has a life changing reason to do so. And if they really want it, then they can do it, no matter what it takes to do so.

Please explore this website for additional information on heroin, heroin addiction and quitting heroin once and for all. Because if I can do it, then you or your loved ones can do it too! Whatever you do, don't give up by any means and don't lose hope. Keep pressing on and keep moving forward!
How to quit heroin
and all opiate drugs
How to get yourself to
quit heroin and opiate drugs
How to help your friend
or family member quit heroin
  How to quit heroin
and all opiate drugs
  How to get yourself to
quit heroin and opiates
  How to quit heroin cold turkey with OTC meds  
  How to survive the first
7 days when quitting
  How to quit heroin warm turkey with medications  
  How to quit heroin with the help of Suboxone  
  How to quit heroin
with the help of Kratom
  How to quit heroin
in a drug rehab center
  Quit heroin and stay clean by relocating  
  Quitting heroin as
a couple - together
  Quitting heroin while working on the job  
  Quitting heroin for teens  
  Quitting heroin for women - special article  
  Quitting heroin for men   
  How to stay clean
from heroin for good
  Staying clean with Vivitrol Naltrexone  
  How to help your son or daughter quit heroin  
  How to help your man
or husband quit heroin
  How to help your friend, family, quit heroin  
  How to know if he or
she is still using heroin
  Get Naloxone Narcan  and Save a Life  
  What is heroin addiction  
  Success Stories Pt.1  
  About Jorge (George)  

Main Index Page
What is Heroin
What is Heroin Addiction
How to Quit Heroin
How to Get Yourself to Quit Heroin
How to Quit Heroin Cold Turkey
How to Survive the First 7 Days
How to Quit Heroin Warm Turkey
Quitting Heroin with Suboxone
How to Quit Heroin with Kratom
How to Quit Heroin in Rehab
Quitting Heroin by Relocating
Quitting Heroin While Pregnant
Quitting Heroin as a Couple
Quitting Heroin While Working
Quitting Heroin for Teens
Quitting Heroin for Women
Quitting Heroin for Men
How to Beat Cravings for Heroin
How to Avoid Relapse on Heroin
If at First You Don't Succeed
How to Stay Clean for Good
Staying Clean with Vivitrol
How to Change & Change Your Life
How to Fix Your Life Pt.1
How to Fix Your Life Pt.2
How to Fix Your Life Pt.3
How to Help Your Child Quit Heroin
How to Know if He’s Still Using
How to Help Your Man Quit Heroin
How to Help Others Quit Heroin
Get Naloxone Narcan - Save a Life
U.S. Rehab Treatment Centers
U.S. Substance Abuse Agencies
Canada Drug Rehab Treatment
U.K. Drug Rehab Treatment
Ireland Drug Rehab Treatment
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