Heroin is made from morphine, which itself comes from a naturally available substance. Morphine is extracted from the seeds of a species of opium poppy plant.

These plants are found in Southeast Asian such as Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos, and Southwest Asian countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. These plants are also found in Latin American nations like Mexico and Columbia.


The primary substances used to make heroin are acetic anhydride, baking soda, acetone, ethyl alcohol, ether, chloroform, and activated charcoal. The process of creating heroin requires exact measurements and precise formulations.

Opium balls or bricks are crushed and dissolved in large drums of hot water and lime. Throughout the heating process, lime is continuously added until the PH level reaches 10-12.

Once the PH reaches its desired level, the solution is covered and allowed to sit overnight. During this process, the organic matter sinks to the bottom as sediment and a white layer of crude morphine floats upward to the top.

From here, the liquid is strained using cloth or burlap sacks. Sometimes it takes several rounds of filtering to completely remove all organic matter and insoluble oils from the solution.

The crude morphine that has been extracted is now mixed with ammonium chloride that is stirred vigorously in a barrel, and left to sit for another day.

On the following day, the solution is filtered through another cloth that has been soaked in warm water. This process leaves a brownish paste on the cloth, which is called morphine base.

By now, the morphine can be used via smoking it in a pipe. About 50 percent morphine exists in a morphine base.

The morphine base is pressed into bricks and air-dried in the sun. It has the consistency of a lump of modeling clay. It is now ready to be converted into heroin via a chemical process.

How Heroin Is Made


Acetic anhydride, baking soda, acetone, ethyl alcohol, ether, chloroform, and activated charcoal are the primary chemicals used in heroin production. These chemicals require exact measurements, and is a precise process. These instructions have to be followed very closely to avoid mishap.

After mixing in equal parts morphine and acetic anhydride and heated for several hours at 185-195 degrees in a glass or enamel-lined container. This process produces diacetylmorphine. It is generally odorless chemical that turns pink after being exposed to air while also taking on an acetic smell.

More filtering is required, which involves water and chloroform to be added to diacetylmorphine. The impurities precipitate out and the solution is filtered. Then baking soda is added to the solution until the carbon dioxide no longer bubbles while the PH balance remains at 10.

At this time, a crude form of heroin, brown in color, deposits at the bottom.

Cloth is used to separate the heroin, which forms in solid chunks. However, the heroin still contains impurities and has to be purified in additional stages.

The heroin base is dissolved in diluted hydrochloric acid till the PH level is 7-8. This is when activated charcoal is added to the solution, which is then allowed to sit for a period of time before being filtered first through a cloth and then through a filter paper.

Dilute ammonia solution is added to the filtered solution. When the PH balance reaches 12, the heroin base precipitates out. It is filtered and then readied for the last purification step in which the heroin is placed in a solution of hydrochloric acid and acetone.

The solution is filtered and allowed to sit in a metal container for some time. At this point, the liquid starts to evaporate and leaves behind a white, fluffy, powder-like substance. It is heroin hydrochloride.

According to some estimates, 10 tons of raw opium yield about a ton of heroin.

Heroin hydrochloride thus obtained in the laboratory is about 75-90% pure, which in street lingo gives the heroin a rating of No. 4.

Thus, this heroin can be snorted, smoked, or injected.


The dangers are eminent with this heroin. Not only is there any proof that the “cooking” process of the drug was done correctly, worse yet, because heroin is an illegal drug in the U.S., it has no regulatory procedure.

This makes the drug unstable and potentially hazardous for any type of consumption, no matter how well made it looks or who has cooked the heroin.


Heroin has no real genotype or social target. More or less, it is a drug for the masses that have come to gather for addiction relief.

Heroin users are down-and-out addicts just as much as they are upper crust individuals who have arrived to heroin after becoming addicted to prescription painkillers which are no longer available to them.

This is what makes heroin such a far-reaching drug. As history and the recent opioid epidemic has shown us, anyone can get hooked on this drug which, in return, has no prejudices when it comes to being hazardous for anyone’s health.

If you feel you or a loved one has an issue with heroin, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.