What Is Synthetic Heroin
Do you know why you have to present your photo identification to the cashier while buying spray paint? Or why can you only buy so many bottles of cold medicine in a week? It really is no different than why disposable coffee cups say “hot” – someone, somewhere decided it would be a good idea to sniff spray paint to try to get “high.” It may sound silly, but these regulations had to be put in place because so many people were doing it. If you think about it, all substance use had to start somewhere. Whether for legal or illegal reasons, new substances and medications are always being developed or discovered. So in that case, what is synthetic heroin? Is it more dangerous than “normal” heroin?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 7,777 drug overdose deaths occurred in Florida in 2022. While this number is down from the previous year, there is still a substance issue going on throughout the state. In Hillsborough County, 77 opioid overdose deaths occurred in only the first six months of 2018. Clean Recovery Centers understands these numbers are concerning, and we are doing our part by educating our communities on all substances, new and old. Today, we are discussing synthetic heroin, and where you can go if you or a loved one need help.
What Is Synthetic Heroin?
When it comes to labeling opioids such as heroin, there are different classifications. Heroin can be fully synthetic or partially synthetic. The opium poppy plant is used to create opiates such as morphine and codeine. While heroin is derived from the same plant, there is typically more processing that it goes through in order to make it fully classified as heroin. In most cases of heroin, it is partially synthetic, but when mixed with substances such as fentanyl, that classifies it as fully synthetic.
What Does Synthetic Heroin Do?
Synthetic heroin has the same effects as partially synthetic heroin. The only difference is when fentanyl is mixed in. Fentanyl is one of the strongest synthetic opioids out there, and because of its potency, the effects of using it are amplified. The most common effect felt with heroin is an intense “rush” of euphoria and relaxation. Heaviness in the limbs and drowsiness are often felt as well.
How Can You Tell if Heroin Is Synthetic?
As we have mentioned, heroin is already partially synthetic, so it will look the same as any batch of heroin. Heroin comes in a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance called black tar. Many substances come in a white powder, and being able to know what heroin is and how to identify it can reassure you that you have gotten the correct substance.
How Does Someone Take Synthetic Heroin?
Synthetic heroin is taken by snorting, smoking, injecting, or swallowing. Each method can impact how quickly you feel the effects and how long they last. The effects of injecting heroin can be felt immediately, while smoking and snorting can take a few minutes. Swallowing heroin can take up to 20 minutes to feel its effects.
The Dangers of Taking Synthetic Heroin
As with any substance, synthetic heroin does come with risks. Anytime needles are shared, there is a risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Synthetic heroin can be mixed with different cutting agents, such as fentanyl, which can increase the risk of overdose. Heroin also lowers the immune system, making it more difficult to heal from infections. In combination with poor nutrition, infections can be life-threatening if left untreated.
The Signs and Symptoms of Synthetic Heroin
There are noticeable signs of heroin addiction. Some of the most common include:
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Losing interest in hobbies and activities
- Poor school or work performance
When it comes to synthetic heroin use, there is more going on within the body than just drowsiness and euphoria. The substances used to make heroin are not always healthy, and can contribute to some of heroin’s unpleasant side effects. Some common physical and mental effects include:
- Flushing of the skin
- Obscured thinking
- Heaviness in the arms and legs
- Digestive problems
- Sexual dysfunction in men and hormone imbalances in women
- Mood swings
The Effects of Overdosing From Synthetic Heroin
As we talked about above, synthetic heroin tends to be mixed with fentanyl. Both substances affect the opioid receptors in the brain and slow the central nervous system. Breathing and heart rate are controlled by the central nervous system, and when too much heroin is in the body, it is unable to regulate these functions. This is when a heroin overdose takes place. Breathing slows so much that it stops completely. Signs of an overdose include:
- Blue tint to the nails and lips
- Gurgling or choking sounds
- Pinpoint pupils
If you or someone you love ever suspects an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Medication such as Narcan can block the effects of opioids and is available at certain convenience stores. Medical professionals also carry Narcan for overdose situations. Always stay with the person until help arrives, and be honest about all substances that were taken.
Getting Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Tampa, FL
Becoming dependent on heroin – whether synthetic or partially synthetic – can turn your life upside down. Friendships, family, finances, and mental health are all affected. Finding lasting recovery will require a strong support system and the development of healthy coping skills.
At Clean Recovery Centers, our heroin addiction treatment includes a 24-hour detoxification period monitored around the clock medically and with emotional support. Detox can be dangerous as heroin withdrawal symptoms can become fatal. We offer medication-assisted treatment during this time to ensure the safety and well-being of the individual. From there, clients will go through our three-phase treatment of inpatient and outpatient programming.
Heroin works in the brain by releasing feelings of relaxation and euphoria. In the stress-filled, fast-paced world we live in, it is no wonder people are looking for ways to slow down and relax. Watching a loved one turn to heroin can be devastating, but how can you help? Being supportive and open with communication is key to getting your loved one to open up and seek treatment. Some benefits of treatment at Clean Recovery Centers include:
- A safe space to heal and focus on themselves
- Daily therapy to address trauma
- Skill-building classes that are useful in today’s society
- Individualized treatment options to find what works best
- Wellness components such as massage therapy, nutritional counseling, and equine therapy
If you or someone you love is being plagued by heroin, you are not alone. So many others have found themselves in the grasp of synthetic heroin, but they have been able to find successful recovery and a supportive community. Clean Recovery Centers is here to open the door to new opportunities and help you find your inner strengths. Call us today at (888) 330-2532 to learn more about how our program can help you get clean, live clean, and stay clean.
What does synthetic heroin look like?
Synthetic heroin looks like a white or brownish powder. It can also look like a black, sticky substance.
What is the difference between natural and synthetic heroin?
All heroin is considered partially or fully synthetic. Morphine is considered natural, as it is made from the opium poppy plant. Heroin has more processing and ingredients that qualify it as synthetic.
What are three examples of synthetic opioids?
Fentanyl, heroin, and acetyl fentanyl are just three examples of synthetic opioids.