What is Heroin?
Heroin is an illegal opioid drug that is produced from morphine. Morphine is a natural substance taken from the seed's pods of opium poppy plants—the poppy plants grow in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Columbia. When heroin is produced, it could look like white or brown powder or a sticky black tar substance. Heroin is illegal and highly addictive and sold in different regions of the United States. Pure heroin is a white powder and has a slightly bitter taste and mainly originates from regions of South America and some parts of Southeast Asia. Pure heroin is appealing to first-time heroin users because it is smoked or snorted and does not have to be injected.
The black tar heroin found in the United States is primarily produced in Mexico—the black color comes from a crude form of processing that leaves behind impurities, which increases the danger for injection drug users. Initially, heroin begins with the opium poppies, and when the plant blooms, it reveals a pod that produces a milky sap that is then extracted. The sap from the opium pod is pure opium that is then extracted and refined.
Producing Heroin from Morphine
The production of morphine, from which heroin is produced, involves the opium sap mixed with lime that is then boiled. The boiling process separates the organic materials that sink to the bottom, and the morphine floats to the top, such as how oil separates in water.
It is at this point, the separated material (morphine) is collected and heated again with ammonia, which is then filtered and boiled again and eventually produces a brown paste. The brown paste is then dried, producing a brown powder. The process of making heroin begins with morphine that is mixed with acetic anhydride and heated for around 6 hours. When these two substances are combined, it forms diacetylmorphine—the product is then mixed with hot water and chloroform.
The mixture of diacetylmorphine, hot water, and chloroform is drained, and sodium carbonate is added, which produces the heroin solidify. The next step of the process involves filtering the carbonate solution with activated charcoa