Heroin, a highly addictive opiate drug, is growing quickly in popularity in the United States. The fastest acting of the opiate drugs, heroin has the propensity to change the chemical structure of your brain in just one use. It is sold as either a white powder, a light brown powder, or another form of heroin known as “black tar” heroin. More common along the eastern coast of the United States, white heroin is usually cut with starch or sugar and, in some cases, strychnine.
The Dangers of White Heroin Powder
Derived from morphine, a natural substance derived from the seedpods of Asian poppy plants, white heroin has the same derivation as black or brown heroin, which means it is just as dangerous. It is often assumed that the whiter the heroin, the more pure it is and is therefore safer than other types of heroin as well. This isn’t true. White heroin is cut with other substances just as often as other types of heroin and can be just as dangerous. It is just as easy to overdose on white heroin as it is on black tar heroin or brown heroin and the long-term and short-term health problems associated with the drug are just as real no matter what color the powder.
How White Heroin is Used
A decade ago the favored method of ingesting white heroin was intravenous injection. This provides the rush often talked about among users since its effects can be felt in less than 10 seconds. Intramuscular injection has also been popular in the past, providing a slower onset of exhilaration that peaks in 10 to 15 minutes.
Smoking or sniffing white heroin is more popular than with black tar heroin because the powder form is conducive to the method while the stickier versions are not. Neither smoking nor snorting white heroin provides the same intense rush associated with injection but it is just as addictive. Especially in the Northeast and on the East Coast where white heroin is more prevalent, snorting heroin and smoking heroin is increasingly more common.
White Heroin Addiction and Abuse
A recent report by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reported that more than 3 million people in the United States have taken to doing heroin of some type at least once. Of those listed in the survey, just under 100,000 were between the ages of 12 to 17. More than 450,000 were between the ages of 18 to 25, with the majority of users being over the age of 30. Whether using white stuff from Asia, brown, or black heroin, addicts come from all social backgrounds, neighborhoods and areas of the country. From nurses to troubled teens, this problem seems to have no barriers.