18 Interesting Facts About Heroin

You might have heard the names tar, train, junk, smack, H, boy, white horse, brown, black, chiva etc. All these names are alias for “Heroin”. It was initially considered to be non-addictive and also used to help break morphine addiction. But it has now been established that whether injected, sniffed or smoked, heroin will lead to addiction and other health related problems. Here are some interesting facts about heroin you must know.heroin.drug

Image: enkivillage.com

1. Processed from morphine

poppyHeroin is processed after collecting sap from the flower of opium poppies which is then taken to a morphine refinery to be refined into a morphine base. The morphine base is reacted with acetic anhydride (a chemical used to make aspirin).
Source: dosomething.org

2. Highly addictive

Whether heroin is injected, smoked or sniffed it is highly addictive no matter the mode of use as it enters the brain very quickly. Moreover with regular use body develops tolerance to heroin, therefore within a short time of using heroin the body requires more of it to produce the same intensity, resulting in addiction.
Source: dosomething.org

3. Was sold over the counter

heroin.bottlesInterestingly when heroin was manufactured initially in 1898 by the Bayer pharmaceuticals of Germany, it was sold over the counter as a remedy for morphine addiction and treatment for tuberculosis.
Source: dosomething.org, image: flickr

4. Pricey drug

Heroin.StampHeroin is a real pricey drug which can cost from $150 to $250 per day to an average addict for his habit.
Source: heroin.net, image: wikimedia.org

5. Street price


Heroin.asianA decade ago the street price of a standard bag of heroin was $50- 150 for 2-3% purity and in 2014 it was $10 for 7-10% purity in Chicago. Pure heroin widens the user base as it can be smoked or sniffed which is easier. If heroin is impure it will have to be injected into the body to achieve high.
Source: facts.randomhistory.com, image: wikimedia.org

6. Junkies

Junkies is the name given to heroin users because addicts in east coast cities like New York and Philadelphia started collecting and selling scrap metal to support their habit.
Source: herbholist.com, image: wikimedia.org

7. Heroin discoverer died of its addiction

H. DreserIt’s interesting to know that Heinrich Dreser, the German chemist responsible for the heroin project is speculated to have become a heroin addict. The drug he chose to market over aspirin also became the cause of his death.
Source: herbholist.com, image: wikimedia.org

8. Escalating number of users

heroin injection

The number of teenager aged between 12 to 17 years who have used heroin at some point has increased by 300% from 1995 to 2002.
Source: drugfreeworld.org, image: alcohol.sa.ucsb.edu

9. Cheese Heroin


Cheese heroin is a blend of black tar Mexican heroin and Tylenol PM which is a cold medication sold over the counter. The drug has hooked children as young as 9, costing couple of dollars a hit. It is a deadly combination which slows down the vital body functions like breathing and heartbeat, resulting in death.
Source: ldrugfreeworld.org, image: wikimedia.org

10. It just takes 12 weeks

Injecting.HeroinIt takes 12 weeks of consistent use for a heroin user to become an addict as after 12 weeks withdrawal symptoms can be seen. In 72 hours the withdrawal symptoms reach their peak.
Source: facts.randomhistory.com, image: wikimedia.org

11. Signs of addiction

addictItching, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, slowed breathing, droopy appearance and drowsiness are some of the signs that someone is using heroin. The pupils of heroin user also appear smaller.
Source: facts.randomhistory.com, image: flickr

12. On the nod

Heroin is sedative and can cause the user to go from feeling awake but sleepy. It’s such a deep sleep that the person cannot be shaken awake. It can be compared to a student in a boring lecture trying to stay awake; his head will nod as he gets sleepier and will then jerk eventually. This is a desirable state for an addict but is also the first step towards excess sedation.
Source: livescience.com

13. It makes you itchy

Severe itchiness is an unexpected side effect from the use of heroin because opiate drugs as they cause histamine. Histamine is compound produced by body during allergic reactions and leads to skin irritation. Some users think that itching is caused because the drug was impure but actually it means that heroin was strong and uncontaminated.
Source: livescience.com

14. Heroin Chic


Heroin chic was a movement in fashion photography featuring waif thin fashion models that looked as if they were strung on drugs. Blank stares, pale skin and dark circles were other hallmarks. This took place when a cheaper version of heroin was entering the American market from Colombia which out competed heroin coming from Asia and South Asia. This increased the number of heroin users.
Source: livescience.com, image: joshuahastingscmp.com

15. “Body pack” heroin

Heroin seized“Body pack” heroin is a way of smuggling heroin in which it is transported by carrying it inside the body. This is done by a person usually called a mule or a courier.
Source: livescience.com, image: flickr

16. Babies can be born addicted to opiates

A study shows that if a baby is exposed to heroin inside the mother’s womb he can be born physically addicted to it.
Source: livescience.com

17. You’ve Got 72 Hours

HeroinIf someone is planning to quit the drug it will take 72 hours for the withdrawal symptoms to kick in and reach its peak. After this it can take months of withdrawal symptoms for someone to come clean.
Source: healthresearchfunding.org, image: wikimedia.org

18. It Dulls the Senses

Over time with consistent use of heroin the sense of the user becomes dull and body becomes numb. The sense of smell and taste begin to disappear. The body’s ability to experience sexual satisfaction is also affected.
Source: healthresearchfunding.org