Prosperity Haven Ohio

COVID-19 UPDATE: Our facilities remain open as we continue our mission of providing men with a safe, supportive space to find peace & recovery. Learn More.

Types of Heroin, Ingredients & Their Dangers

What is Heroin?

Heroin is derived from morphine, a naturally occurring substance in the poppy plant. Opioid drugs bind to receptors in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in pain relief and a sense of well-being. However, they also have dangerous side effects, including slowed breathing and heart rate.

There are many different types of heroin, with a number of varieties which tend to have varying strengths. Some types may be smoked, snorted and injected. Others can only be smoked or injected.

In this article we will cover the various types of Heroin, their ingredients and their dangers.

Active Heroin Ingredients

Most people are familiar with heroin as a dangerous, illegal drug. What people don’t often know is that besides for diacetylmorphine which is the active ingredient in heroin, it is often cut with a variety of additives. Some of these ingredients contain toxins that can seriously harm users.

The exact ingredients in any given batch of heroin vary, meaning the dangers posed by the drug changes depending on the batch. Users never know what they’re getting when they take heroin. Heroin itself is highly addictive, and even a tiny amount can lead to an overdose.

It is important to know the risks involved in heroin and its common additives. Common ingredients in heroin include:


This incredibly potent opioid is usually manufactured in China, before being shipped to the US. It is around 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Heroin distributors cut heroin with fentanyl to increase its potency and increase profits.

This practice is particularly dangerous, as distributors may improperly mix the drugs together, leading to parts of batches that are particularly powerful. Fentanyl has been the driving force that has led to the tragic deaths of so many opioid users across the US and other parts of the world.


Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a benzodiazepine that is primarily used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is one of the fillers that is often added to heroin to increase potency.

The combination of Xanax and heroin is perilous, as both are downers. Taking heroin cut with Xanax can cause users to become unconscious and may result in death. If you suspect that the heroin you are taking is cut with Xanax, do not continue to take it.


This cutting agent is used because it is inexpensive and easily purchased. If you take heroin cut with caffeine, you may find that you take more heroin. This is as caffeine stops you from “nodding out”.

While caffeine is not as dangerous as the other two ingredients in this list, it can cause heart problems in susceptible people.

Black Tar Heroin

Black tar heroin is typically found in the form of a black, sticky substance that can be smoked or injected. It is most commonly found in the western United States, particularly in California. As heroin tends to come through Mexico, it is often known as Mexican black tar heroin by dealers.

The main ingredient in black tar heroin is morphine, a highly addictive substance. When used, like other types of heroin, black tar heroin produces a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. However, it also comes with several serious risks and dangers. These include overdose, addiction, and death.

Users smoke or inject black tar heroin. You cannot snort it, as users do with powder heroin.

Brown Heroin

Brown powder heroin is white heroin that has been cut with lactose (a sugar present in milk) or similar cuts. Like white powder heroin, users get high by snorting, smoking or injecting.

This type of heroin tends to be less potent than white heroin, but not always. At times a batch can be dangerously potent or may contain a potentially fatal cut.

White Heroin

White powder heroin is also sold in the United States, and usually comes from Southwest or Southeast Asia. This is often referred to as pure heroin, but it is impossible to gauge the exact potency of this heroin without equipment to test it.

This preparation of heroin is typically found east of the Mississippi River.

China White Heroin

China white heroin has referred to different things over the years. In the 1970s and 1980s, the expression was simply a slang expression for heroin. Today, “China white” is what many users call fentanyl. The reason for this is that fentanyl typically comes as a white powder.

If you encounter a type of heroin that someone calls “China white”, you should assume that it contains fentanyl. Exercise extreme caution in these instances. Fentanyl can kill users even when only a miniscule amount is used.

Dangers of Heroin Use

The dangers of heroin use are manifold, no matter what type of heroin you take. This illicit drug wreaks havoc on both the brain and body, causing serious short and long-term effects. Understanding these risks is critical for anyone who is considering using heroin, as even a single dose can lead to addiction and other potentially life-threatening consequences.

Signs of an overdose include slow and shallow breathing, unconsciousness, and death. If you suspect that someone has overdosed on heroin, it is crucial for you to seek medical help immediately.

Heroin use and health problems

Heroin use can lead to a number of serious health problems. Smoking heroin causes lung problems and intravenous heroin users risk collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, and liver disease.

When heroin is injected, there is a risk of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. This is because sharing needles can lead to the transmission of these diseases.

While anyone who uses heroin is at risk of these dangers, some people are more vulnerable than others. For example, people who have a history of mental health disorders or substance abuse are at an increased risk of developing an addiction to heroin. Once someone is addicted and has a co-occurring disorder, it can be even more difficult to cease use.

Getting Help For A Heroin Addiction

Being addicted to opioids is a living hell. Having to constantly think about getting high and finding the money to get high with takes it’s toll on anyone. Without recovery, heroin addiction usually ends in death.

Fortunately, heroin addiction treatment is available. Prosperity Haven’s heroin treatment program provides people who want to quit heroin use with everything they need to stop and stay stopped.

For detox, clients have access to the best medication assisted treatment available. This ensures that the necessary detox process will be as comfortable and as painless for clients as possible.

After detox is complete, Prosperity Haven’s treatment for heroin addiction program will help clients get to the root of why they were using heroin. Once this is achieved, clients will have relapse prevention classes, to make sure they have the best possible chance of long-term sobriety.

At Prosperity Haven drug rehab, our team is committed to helping people with heroin problems get the best possible start in recovery. We pride ourselves on having an excellent track record and look forward to welcoming you with open arms to our center.


Take the First Step and Reach Out Today