Heroin is a powder derived from opium poppies. It may come from South America, Mexico, or Southeast and Southwest Asia. Most heroin in the United States comes from South America, but “black tar” varieties from Mexico are more common in the western US. It has the appearance of coal or roofing tar, with a dark brown to black color.

The drug is or can be extremely addictive. It works by binding to mu-opioid receptors in the brain. According to the (NIDA) National Institute on Drug Abuse, these receptors are turned on, as a result, stimulating the release of dopamine and inducing a feeling of pleasure.

Normally, the body’s natural neurotransmitters bind to these same receptors to release dopamine. The process regulates pain and hormone release. It also helps a person naturally feel a sense of wellbeing.

Types of heroin

The way heroin is produced accounts for the various colors and textures of the drug. Substances that drug dealers and manufacturers add to heroin also affect its appearance and texture.

Heroin sold on the street is almost always combined with “cutting agents,” or fillers, to stretch the drug dealers’ drug supply and increase profit.  we have different types of heroin-like, white powder, brown powder, black tar.

1.white powder heroin

Most heroin sold in the east presents as a fine, white to off-white powder that originated in Mexico and South America. Although white powder heroin undergoes extensive processing and is, therefore, more refined than other forms, the drug that is commonly found on the streets is never pure heroin.

Common heroin cutting agents include talc, sugar, lactose, quinine, and caffeine. These additives can alter the heroin’s appearance and account for color variations, which can range from white to beige to pink. White powder heroin sometimes smells a bit like vinegar and has a bitter taste, and can easily be mistaken for cocaine.

Because white powder heroin dissolves easily in water, most heroin users shoot the drug. Some people snort it. It’s not usually smoked because it burns at a much higher temperature than other forms of heroin.

2.Brown powder heroin

Brown powder heroin, which is produced in Mexico, is an increasingly common form of heroin. Brown powder used to be sold primarily in the western United States, but it is also showing up in cities in the Midwest and along the East Coast.
Some brown powder is produced from black tar heroin that is crushed and laced with cutting agents to make it easier to snort.

Because brown powder can be smoked or snorted and doesn’t require intravenous injection, it has gained popularity among suburban teenagers and others who might never before have considered using heroin due to a fear of needles, track marks, and blood-borne disease.
Sometimes called brown, brown sugar, brown crystal or Mr. Brownstone, brown heroin is often a combination of crushed black tar heroin mixed with other substances.

The drug can appear in various shades of brown, ranging from a lighter tannish brown to darker shades of brown depending on what it’s cut with.

3.black tar heroin

Black tar heroin is the most common form of heroin sold west of the Mississippi River. It comes from Mexico, the largest heroin supplier in the US. Black tar heroin is a very dark-colored form of heroin that can be found as a gooey consistency or tarry, rock-like form. But, like brown powder, in recent years it’s been found at increasing frequency in the Midwest and East Coast.

Despite its name, black tar heroin is not always black. The drug can also appear brown or reddish. It can be sticky like roofing tar or hard like coal. It can also look like melted licorice.

Black tar heroin also tends to clog needles, while white powder heroin does not. People who use this form rinse or replace their needles more frequently, which may also cut down on the transmission of the virus, according to researchers at the University of California San Francisco.

4.china white

At one time, the term China White referred to a pure form of white powder heroin produced in Southeast Asia. Today, the name is more commonly used as a slang term for powder heroin that is also mixed with fentanyl or other analogs of fentanyl. China White can also refer to just fentanyl sold as heroin or a heroin-like product.

Both China White and fentanyl itself have terrifying reputations, and fentanyl-laced heroin has been associated with the recent spike in opioid-related overdose fatalities.


A speedball is a mix of heroin and a stimulant, such as cocaine.
which is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and a stimulant—usually cocaine, but meth is also used, though not as frequently. These two types of drugs, when used in conjunction, can create a dangerous tug-of-war effect on the body. While heroin acts on the CNS to slow breathing and induce drowsiness, cocaine (and meth) increases heart rate and blood pressure and can cause anxiety and agitation.

Speedballing can cause a stroke, heart attack, aneurysm or respiratory failure. Speedballs are also increasingly tainted with fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that can cause overdose and death.

6.gun powder heroin

A stickier and reportedly more potent version of black tar heroin called gunpowder heroin has been popping up on the West Coast. According to a 2016 study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, gunpowder heroin is a crumbly substance resembling dried coffee.

In any case, as the name would suggest, it often resembles gunpowder or coffee grounds. The color is usually a solid black or dark grey but may also contain white or black specks. Due to its increased solubility versus black tar heroin, it is easier to inject, and its relatively lower cost may contribute to its popularity among some users.


Scramble is a mixture of white or brown powder heroin and other substances packed into a gelatin capsule. It can contain a wide range of additives, including quinine, lactose, fentanyl, crushed opioid pills, and benzodiazepines. A scramble is a popular form of heroin in Baltimore.

No form of heroin is safe to use. If you or someone you love is experiencing problems related to the drug, heroin treatment is the best option for achieving long-term sobriety.

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