Heroin comes in a white to brown powder or a dark tar-like
substance, and is sold in a variety of packaging
The most dangerous and addictive narcotic is heroin. While receiving less
publicity today than newer, more popular drugs, it continues to be a major
problem in this country. Not only is heroin extremely addictive and dangerous,
but as with cocaine and methamphetamines, addicts often resort to crimes such
as burglary, grand theft, robbery, or prostitution to support their habits.
Sometimes called black tar, mud, smack, China white, or Mexican brown, heroin
is derived from opium poppies. In its powder form, it may range in color from
white to a very dark brown. The most popular form of heroin is a dark tar-like
substance called black tar, which is sold in small foil or cellophane packets
or in small toy balloons.
The most common use of heroin is by injection (called "mainlining"
or "shooting"), but in it's powder form it can be inhaled through
the nose or smoked. Paraphernalia for injecting heroin include hypodermic
needles, small cotton balls used to strain the drug, and water and spoons
or bottle caps used for "cooking" or liquefying the heroin. Paraphernalia
for inhaling or smoking heroin includes razor blades, straws, rolled dollar
bills, and pipes. The high from the drug usually lasts from four to six hours.
Black tar heroin and the paraphernalia for injecting and
storing the drug
If your child is under the influence of heroin, he or she may have constricted
pupils, droopy eyelids, depression, apathy, decreased physical activity, and
nausea. A frequent user may nod or appear sleepy, and repeatedly scratch or
touch their face and nose. Larger doses of heroin may induce sleep, vomiting,
and shallow breathing. An overdose can cause slow and shallow breathing, clammy
skin, convulsions, coma, or death.
In addition, there is a family of chemically manufactured drugs often referred
to as "designer drugs". These drugs have been falsely represented
as "synthetic heroin." The most prevalent of these "designer drugs"
is fentanyl citrate, also called China white, which is many times more powerful
than heroin and has caused a number of deaths among addicts. Fentanyl citrate
is used in the same manner as heroin.