What does heroin look like?
Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste. Most illicit heroin varies in color from white to dark brown. "Black tar" heroin is sticky like roofing tar or hard like coal, and its color may vary from dark brown to black.

How is herion used?

Street Names for Herion:

  • Injecting
  • Smoking
  • Snorting

  • smack
  • thunder
  • hell dust
  • big H
  • nose drops

Who uses heroin?

In the United States in 1999 there were 104,000 new heroin users. In 2000, approximately 1.2% of the population reported heroin use at least once in their lifetime. How does heroin get to the United States?

The U.S. heroin market is supplied entirely from foreign sources of opium. Production occurs in South America, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia.

How much does heroin cost?

Nationwide, in 2000, South American heroin ranged from $50,000 to $200,000 per kilogram. Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin ranged in price from $40,000 to $190,000 per kilogram. Wholesale-level prices for Mexican heroin were the lowest of any type, ranging from $13,200 to $175,000 per kilogram. The wide range in kilogram prices reflects variables such as buyer/seller relationships, quantities purchased, purchase frequencies, purity, and transportation costs.

What are some consequences of heroin use?

One of the most significant effects of heroin use is addiction. Once tolerance happens, higher does become necessary to achieve the desired effect, and physical dependence develops. Chronic use may cause collapsed veins, infection of heart lining and valves, abscesses, liver disease, pulmonary complications, and various types of pneumonia.
May cause depression of central nervous system, cloudy mental functioning, and slowed breathing to the point of respiratory failure. Heroin overdose may cause slow and shallow breathing, convulsions, coma, and possibly death.

Users put themselves at risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other viruses.


What is OxyContin?
OxyContin® is the brand name of a time-release formula of the analgesic chemical oxycodone. OxyContin®, which is produced by the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, is prescribed as a pain medication. Instances of abuse of this drug have increased in recent years.

Street terms for OxyContin:


  • Hillbilly heroin
  • Oxy
  • Oxycotton

  • Chewing the tablets
  • Snorting crushed tablets
  • Dissolving tablets in water and injecting

These methods cause a faster,
highly dangerous release of medication.

Who uses OxyContin?

Abuse of OxyContinin rural Maine, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia brought national attention to this problem. The areas most currently affected by OxyContin abuse are eastern Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana; southern Maine; Philadelphia and southwestern Pennsylvania; southwestern Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Phoenix, Arizona. An increase in illegal use has been especially apparent on the East Coast, .9% or 19.9 million Americans have used pain relievers illegally in their lifetime.

How does OxyContin get to the United States?

Because it is a legal drug, OxyContin is supplied across the country for legitimate medical purposes. Word of mouth has allowed users to devise illicit usage techniques. Pharmacy robberies, health care fraud, and international trafficking constitute illicit distribution ability.

How much does OxyContin cost?

When legally sold, a 10-mg tablet of OxyContin will cost $1.25 and an 80-mg tablet will cost $6. When illegally sold, a 10-mg tablet of OxyContin can cost between $5 and $10. An 80-mg tablet can cost between $65 and $80.5

Long-term usage can lead to physical dependence.

A large dosage can cause severe respiratory depression that can lead to death. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps, and involuntary leg movements.

Copyright © 2004
Dana Cox
please e-mail me @-
EMS Consultants
Revised - January 2004