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Where does heroin come from?
Our community offers unique perspectives on lifelong recovery and substance use prevention, empowering others through stories of strength and courage. From people in active recovery to advocates who have lost loved ones to the devastating disease of addiction, our community understands the struggle and provides guidance born of personal experience. While some drugs, such as marijuana, have a distinctive aroma, heroin is often odorless. When it does have a smell, heroin is most commonly described as having a vinegar-like odor.
What is heroin?
Heroin may smell differently depending on where it came from and what other chemicals are in it. It may also have a different smell if the heroin is snortedinjected or smoked. Heroin is made from morphine, which comes from the milky sap in the seeds of poppy plants. Manufacturers transform morphine into heroin, a much more potent opioid, by boiling it with the chemical acetic anhydride. A byproduct of this chemical reaction is acetic acid — the chemical that gives vinegar its distinctive smell.
Depending on how extensively heroin is purified, trace amounts of acetic acid How does heroin smell remain behind, giving the drug its characteristic vinegar odor. The less refined heroin is, the more likely it is to smell like vinegar. Heroin that is brown or black tends to have an especially strong vinegar smell, according to the Department How does heroin smell Justice. While vinegar is the most common scent associated with heroin, some people say the drug smells like Band-Aids, medicine, kitty litter or vitamins.
Common cutting agents include powdered sugar, milk, lactose, talc, vitamin B12, quinine, laxatives, caffeine and acetaminophen Tylenol. In recent years, though, dealers have gotten more creative with their cutting agents, creating sinister and sometimes deadly mixes that include diphenhydramine Benadryl or potent opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil, which are hundreds to thousands of times stronger than morphine. Some individuals in Philadelphia said the powder heroin in their city, which ranges in color from white to light brown, had no smell. Others described the drug as smelling like opium, chemicals, cat urine, kitty litter or whatever it was cut with, including vitamin B and multivitamins.
What does heroin smell like?
In San Francisco, a type of heroin called gunpowder heroin — which is a stickier version of black tar heroin — was described by some as smelling like chocolate. Others said it was odorless. Different manufacturing processes in these countries likely for the geographic differences in the smell, color and texture of heroin. In a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policysome people said they could identify fentanyl-laced heroin by both sight and smell.
A something Rhode Island man identified only as Carl told drug researchers he believes he can differentiate between pure heroin and heroin laced with fentanyl by its vinegary smell. People who snort or shoot heroin may also notice a different smell than those who smoke the drug.
It can also be odorless.
What does meth smell like?
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Why heroin smells like vinegar
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About Us. What Does Heroin Smell Like? Although heroin often has no odor, it can smell like vinegar, Band-Aids, vitamins or chocolate, depending on the type of heroin and the chemicals added to it.
Does Smoked Heroin Smell Different? Additives May Affect Odor While vinegar is the most common scent associated with heroin, some people say the drug smells like Band-Aids, medicine, kitty litter or vitamins.
As a former journalist and a registered nurse, Amy draws on her clinical experience, compassion and storytelling skills to provide insight into the disease of addiction and treatment options. Amy is an advocate for patient- and family-centered care. Was this article helpful? Yes No. How helpful would you rate this article?
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