Held Hostage by Heroin: What is heroin?

A Marshfield Clinic Center for Community Outreach and Marshfield Area Coalition for Youth column

Heroin is an illegal opioid derived from the opium poppy plant. It is typically sold as a white, brown or gray powder or rock-like substance, or as a black sticky substance. Common street or drug culture names include: China White, Black Tar, Ron, Boy, Dope, Smack and H.

How is Heroin Used?
Heroin can be injected, smoked or snorted. Injection delivers the most rapid and intense high, however, any method is highly addictive.

Heroin is often mixed with other substances called “cutting agents” that are inexpensive, easy to obtain, and mimic the physical characteristics of heroin, such as diphenhydramine, an active ingredient in over-the-counter sleep aides and allergy medications (e.g. Dormin, Benadryl). Heroin has also been known to be mixed with fentanyl (a prescription painkiller) to make the drug more potent and more appealing to users. Since users often do not know what heroin is mixed with or strength they are using, there is a high risk of overdose or death.

Marshfield Area Coalition for Youth (MACY) is working to make Marshfield the best place to raise a family. MACY’s Drug Task Force is striving to reduce and prevent prescription drug abuse and heroin use. MACY is supported by Marshfield Clinic Center for Community Outreach and more than 200 members representing over 40 organizations in Marshfield.

Ask Marshfield Police Department
Question: Why are different drugs showing up in Marshfield?

Answer: Various drugs often show up in communities based on supply and demand. The supply typically comes from drug cartels from other countries, such as Mexico, Afghanistan and Southeast Asia, based on what there is a market for. If the demand of one drug starts to decline, typically the demand of another drug is on the rise.

Schedule a MACY Drug Task Force presentation or submit “Ask Marshfield Police Department” questions to Marshfield Clinic Center for Community Outreach at 715-221-8400 or cco@marshfieldclinic.org.