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Forms of Heroin

Understanding the Uses and Forms of Heroin

As a family member of a user, or a suspected addict, it can be difficult to determine with any certainty if your loved one is taking heroin, unless they are not trying to hide their addiction. However, it is important to understand the uses and many forms of heroin so that you can identify the potential narcotic, and understand how it is used to become such an addicting drug. It is through understanding drug information and the many facets of heroin use that we can understand how drug rehabilitation can help our loved one.

Types of Heroin

There are four typical forms that heroin can take, the ability to identify them can be useful for a parent or loved one who is uncertain and unfamiliar with the type of addiction that their loved one may have.

  • White Heroin
  • Black Heroin
  • Brown Heroin
  • Tar Heroin


It is important to understand that while these drugs appear different in consistency they are all addictive and can all have the same fatal and dangerous effects as one another. There is no safe (or safer) form of heroin.


Common Uses of Heroin

Depending on the type of heroin and the desired effects, there are three common means of use for heroin users.


  • Smoking- Users will combine heroin and any liquid that is accessible so that the drug can be turned into a watery consistency and then smoked through the use of a pipe. Because smoking is also a popular means to use other drugs, like cocaine, mixing them can mean consuming both drugs at one time, which can be extremely dangerous.
  • Snorting- Heroin that is smashed or crushed into a powdery form can be sniffed in the same way that cocaine can too. This form of use can deliver a strong high that takes longer to set in than when the drug is taken intravenously.
  • ‘Shooting Up’ Injections- Injections of heroin intravenously is the fastest and strongest way to obtain a high from this drug, however this is one of the most common sources of other communicable diseases. Users often share needles or they are unsterilized, leaving the possibility for Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS as a large problem for this type of user.


What to Listen For…


As a family member or loved one of someone that is using heroin, it is not uncommon for a user to hide the fact that they are using this drug from those around them.  For that reason it is important to be able to identify the many names of heroin that are commonly used today, including:


  • Dragon
  • Mr. Brownstone
  • Junk
  • Smack
  • Horse
  • Scat
  • Snow
  • H
  • Dope
  • Mexican Brown


The ability to identify and understand what a user, young or old, is talking about can help their loved one to understand a potential addiction, and get the drug rehabilitative help they need now!