Tag Archive: heroin

  1. Should I Be Concerned About Fentanyl?

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    In recent years, fentanyl use and overdoses have been on the rise. The drug is commonly mixed with other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and MDMA. Unfortunately, this often means someone does not know they are taking fentanyl. 

    As a parent, you may be concerned about your child’s drug use. With fentanyl overdoses continuing to rise, this concern may increase significantly. However, by learning about fentanyl, its effects, and the dangers of use, you can intervene before it is too late. 

    What Is Fentanyl? 

    Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine. However, fentanyl is about 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a prescription drug that is made and used illegally. 

    Like morphine, fentanyl is a medicine typically used to treat patients with severe pain, especially after surgery. As a parent, you may know that epidurals used during childbirth contain fentanyl. Fentanyl is also sometimes used to treat chronic pain in patients who are physically tolerant to other opioids. 

    Illegally Produced and Sold Fentanyl 

    Illegally used fentanyl is often made in a lab. This synthetic fentanyl is sold illegally as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids.

    However, many drug dealers mix fentanyl with other commonly used drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. It takes very little to produce a high using fentanyl, meaning it has become a cheaper option. Fentanyl-laced drugs are especially dangerous because many people don’t realize they are taking the drug

    Being unaware of fentanyl use means many people are taking stronger opioids than their body is used to. In turn, this increases the risk of overdose. 

    How Fentanyl Affects the Brain

    Like other opioids, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors. These receptors are found in the parts of the brain that control pain and emotions. After taking opioids many times, the brain adapts to the drug, diminishing its sensitivity, making it hard to feel pleasure from anything besides the drug.

    Fentantly’s effects include: 

    • Extreme happiness
    • Drowsiness
    • Nausea
    • Confusion
    • Constipation
    • Sedation
    • Problems breathing
    • Unconsciousness 

    Fentanyl Overdoses

    Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are now the most common drugs involved in drug overdose deaths in the United States. In 2019, 59% of opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl compared to 14.3% in 2010. 

    An overdose occurs when a drug produces severe effects and life-threatening symptoms. When people overdose on fentanyl, their breathing can slow or stop. Slowed or stopped breathing can decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, also known as hypoxia. Hypoxia can lead to coma, permanent brain damage, and even death.

    While reports as recent as 2018 concur that teen use of illegal drugs is at an all-time low, overdoses are on the rise. Beginning in 2015, the number of teen overdose deaths began increasing. After dropping for a few years, it went up to 3.7 deaths for every 100,000 teens. This means a total of 772 teens died due to overdose in 2015.

    Teen overdose deaths continued to rise in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, 873 deaths were reported. In 2017, 1,050 deaths were reported. In 2018, this decreased to 790 deaths, but deaths involving synthetic opioids rose by ten percent. 

    Most teen overdoses are related to two drugs: heroin and fentanyl. Only a small amount of fentanyl is needed to make a person “high.” As a result, many drug dealers are adding it to other drugs. Unfortunately, this means many teens don’t know what’s in the drugs they’re taking.

    Treating a Fentanyl Overdose 

    The most crucial step in treating an overdose is calling 911 for assistance. Narcan, or naloxone, an injectable or intranasal spray that acts as an opioid antagonist, can be administered to help reverse an overdose. According to NIH, “families with loved ones who have opioid addiction should have naloxone nearby; ask their family member to carry it; and let friends know where it is.”

    Due to the potency of fentanyl, someone may require multiple doses of nasal narcan. It is important to tilt the head back and ensure the applicator is inserted far enough to reach the nasal cavity if the individual is not breathing. Those given naloxone should be monitored for another two hours after the last dose of naloxone is given to make sure breathing does not slow or stop.

    Fentanyl is not always used on its own; many overdoses are caused by other substances being “cut” with fentanyl. There are multiple indicators of an overdose, which can include:

    • Slowing or stopping of breathing
    • Falling asleep or “nodding off”
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Limp body 
    • Changes in pupillary size 
    • Cold and clammy skin
    • Blue colored lips and fingernails
    • Decreased heart rate
    • Loss of consciousness 

    Fentanyl overdose rates continue to rise in the United States. As a parent, you may be concerned about your teen’s drug use, and with fentanyl overdoses continuing to soar, your anxiety may increase. Fentanyl is often “cut” with other drugs, meaning your teen may not know they are using fentanyl, increasing the risk of overdose. If you are worried about your child’s drug use, Sustain is here to help. We utilize a multifaceted process, integrating a balance of clinical interventions, 12-Step recovery, and holistic modalities. At Sustain, we provide adolescents with a positive and loving environment where they can feel comfortable addressing their addiction and mental health needs. Our goal is to facilitate education, interpersonal awareness, and behavioral change through continuity and proven recovery and mental health skill development that supports learning and change. For more information on how Sustain can help you and your child, call us today at (949) 407-9052.

  2. Street Names for Heroin

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    street names for heroin

    Heroin is a highly addictive opioid, which is illegally manufactured and is used for recreational purposes. When an individual takes Heroin, they can experience euphoria, drowsiness and pain relief. There are many different varieties of Heroin, and they depend on which region of the world they are produced. Heroin can be white, brown or black tar. Estimates show that over 4 million people in the United States have tried Heroin and approximately 23% of those people have developed an addiction to the drug.

    Signs of Heroin Use

    How can one identify if an individual has a Heroin addiction? Some signs of Heroin use are:

    • Depression
    • Decline in grades
    • Hanging out with a new group of friends
    • Behavioral changes
    • Increased absences from school or work
    • Finding syringes, baggies, or balloons with suspicious contents.
    • Neglecting hobbies and other activities
    • Apathy
    • Drowsiness
    • Slowed movements
    • Attention and memory problems.
    • Slurred speech.
    • Impaired judgment.

    Common Names for Heroin

    Because Heroin is produced in so many different places, it is called by many different names. Some common street names for Heroin include Smack, Dope, Mud, Horse, Skag, Junk, H, Black tar, Black pearl, Brown sugar, Witch hazel, Birdie powder, Dragon, Hero, White stuff, China white and Boy.

    There are also Spanish names for the drug, including Bombita, Chicle, Gato, La Buena, Tiger, Zoquete, Vidrio, Caballo, Carga and Carne.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, as the names differ by country, and slang terms can change frequently, as the users and dealers of Heroin constantly try to come up with new street names to keep ahead of the authorities.

    Common Names for Heroin with other Drugs

    Drugs such as Marijuana, LSC, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Morphine, and cold medication can be combined with Heroin, and those combinations have different names, such as Chocolate Chip Cookies, Beast, Snowball, Cheese, etc. Some commonly seen combinations and their street names are:

    • Heroin and marijuana: A-bomb or atom bomb
    • Heroin and Xanax: Chocolate bars
    • Heroin and crack cocaine: Dragon rock, Primo
    • Heroin and cocaine: Dynamite
    • Heroin, cocaine, marijuana: El diablo
    • Heroin and ecstasy: H-bomb
    • Heroin, LSD, PCP: LBJ
    • Heroin and LSD: Neon nod.

    The consequences of using Heroin can be deadly on it’s own, and when combined with other dangerous drugs, the risk of overdose and harmful effects is increased significantly.

    The Importance of Knowing Heroin Street Names

    If one suspects that their loved one is addicted to Heroin, then it’s important to know the drug’s street names. The individual may be using these street names in an attempt to avoid their friends and family learning about their drug problem. Being educated about the different names will mean being more equipped to catch a loved one’s Heroin abuse, before it spirals into dependence and addiction.


    Sustain Recovery offers long term recovery programs for adolescents. Our gender separate programs provide a safe environment for young adults to learn about living substance free. Contact us to find out more.

  3. Can You Get High on Heroin?

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    Heroin can create extreme euphoria and a deep sense of well-being. The addictive properties and side effects are well documented. Learn more about whether heroin can get a person high and how it works.

    Psychoactive Ingredients

    Heroin is derived from morphine which is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants grown in Asia, Mexico and Colombia. The drug can trigger extreme sedation and euphoria by interacting with neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. Three components are important to know in heroin:

    Diacetylmorphine: main psychoactive ingredient


    Acetic anhydride

    Heroin needs these three components and may be dissolved in water or injected into a vein, muscle or under the skin. Some people choose to smoke or snort the drug.

    Euphoric Effects

    Psychoactive ingredients in heroin produce an intensely pleasurable sensation deemed a ‘rush’ that occurs in seconds after injection and lasts just a few minutes. The ‘rush’ is followed by a tranquil phase lasting a few hours which results in happiness, relaxation and an absence of emotional and physical pain. Euphoric effects of heroin occur within seconds after injection or minutes after smoking or snorting because of the time it needs to reach the brain. Heroin’s effects may last as long as three to five hours. A person may experience a rush initially including:

    • Alternating states of wakefulness and drowsiness
    • Mouth
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Severe itching

    Central Nervous System Effects

    Heroin is a depressant which acts on the central nervous system since the brain contains many opiate receptors. Once in the brain, heroin becomes morphine and binds to opiate receptors in the brain. This creates pain relief and nervous system depression. The brain’s neurotransmitters can cause clouded mental functioning and slowed breathing to the point of respiratory failure.

    Getting High

    Users of heroin report the drug can bring about a transcendent state of euphoria more intense than any other opiate or opioid. Getting high on heroin over and over can be a sign of heroin addiction. Different routes of administration trigger different onset effects for an individual. Intravenous injection is considered the fastest route of drug administration because it goes directly into the blood. Nasal and oral administration may not stimulate an equal ‘rush’ because the drug is absorbed more slowly rather than instantly. It is highly addictive when people increase the doses and, with it, the higher potential risk for psychological addiction.

    When Addiction Happens

    Dependency on heroin happens through frequent and regular use and tolerance can develop quickly. Increased doses are needed to achieve the same results. Some risks of use include:

    • Abscesses
    • Blood diseases like HIV and hepatitis
    • Failure of internal organs
    • Poisoning from other unknown substances combined with heroin
    • Reducing work of respiratory system which may result in death

    Sustain Recovery provides support and assistance to young adults who are in recovery from addiction. Clients who need a longer-term solution are invited to consider our programs. Call us to find out how to get started.

Sustain Recovery changed my life in a way I never considered remotely possible. I arrived in a place where I knew nobody. Sustain Recovery gave me tools so that I never had to be alone again. I learned how to live like an adult and have genuine relationships with other human beings. I gained a sense of self respect, love, and pride from the challenges I was given by staff. I was able to work through the recent loss of my father and I achieved my goal of not taking any psychiatric medication.
I learned that life is an endless balancing act. I have to continually work on myself and my relationships with the people in my life. The staff at Sustain Recovery are all incredibly experienced and spiritual. They were available to me whether I wanted their help or not. Through their efforts and experience, I experienced the inner workings of having an intimate, loving relationship with a loving creator.
Sustain Recovery is “home” for me. I discovered a loving, caring family that helped launch me to a place I would have never dreamed and, if I would have dreamed it, I would never have believed I would be able to accomplish it.

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