5 Common Paraphernalia Used by Heroin Addicts

30. November 2015

With a huge rise in prescription pill abuse, heroin addiction has become an epidemic in this country. Over the past 15 years, there has been an increase in addiction rates and overdoses linked to heroin. In 2011 4.2 million Americans aged 12 years of age and older reported using heroin at least once. Many of these prescription pill users will turn to heroin as a cheaper and more potent alternative to their pharmaceutical poison. Heroin can be used in various ways, it can be smoked, snorted and injected; this means that there are many different types of heroin paraphernalia. If you believe a loved one is a heroin addict it will be very beneficial to know what heroin paraphernalia looks like.

  1. Needles/Syringes

This is the most common and also the most dangerous way that heroin addicts use heroin. All forms of heroin (black tar and powdered) can both be injected. Some heroin addicts will use these syringes to inject heroin right into their bloodstream while others will inject it intramuscularly. It is common for a heroin addict who uses needles to also have cotton with their needles. This is used to filter and strain the heroin before it goes into the needle. Some heroin addicts will keep a spoon or other item (i.e bottle cap) to mix and cook their heroin in. Heroin addict who uses shoot up is at the highest risk for an overdose.

  1. Aluminum Foil

Heroin addict who smokes their heroin will commonly do so using aluminum foil. It is most common for black tar to be smoked even though powdered heroin can be smoked as well. Heroin addicts will take a piece of foil and put their heroin on top of it, they will use a lighter to heat it up until it smokes, then will then inhale the smoke using anything from a straw to an empty pen or a pipe. The burning of the heroin will cause black marks to appear on the foil, some users will move the heroin around causing black lines to appear.

  1. Cut Straws/Rolled Up Dollar Bills

This heroin paraphernalia is most commonly found with users who snort their heroin. Only powdered heroin can be snorted. Users will pour their heroin onto any surface and use the straw, dollar bill, cut pen or similar item to snort the heroin. Some users may carry around a portable surface to use as a table, but that is very rare. If you notice dollar bills that have curved corners that may mean that is was recently rolled up.

  1. Small Wax Paper Bags With a Stamp

Powdered heroin is often sold in these bags, especially in the northeast. These bags are typically about 1 inch long, ½ inch tall and very thin when folded. They are held shut with a small piece of scotch tape when unfolded they will be about 2 inches tall and still 1 inch wide. The bags are most commonly white while the stamp color will change. The stamp will often be a name or a picture, different batches of heroin will have different names and pictures.

  1. Clear Shell Capsules

In some areas of the United States heroin is sold in small clear or yellowish capsules, think of a pill capsule. Other drugs can be sold in these capsules like molly and methamphetamines, but heroin is also common. These small capsules will be filled with a white or brown powdery substance, sometimes black tare can be sold in these as well even though it is rare. These capsules will often lack any type of stamp or indication of what is inside.

Do You Believe a Loved One is Struggling with Heroin Addiction?

Many users will deny using and abusing drugs, so sometimes an intervention is a necessary part of their recovery process. If you have found what appears to be heroin paraphernalia then intervening in your loved one’s life may save it. Contact Intervention Services now at 1-877-478-4621 to start the process of getting help for you, your family and your loved one. You don’t need to wait for things to get worse. An intervention can stop the pain and chaos and help bring peace of mind to you and your family.