China White referred to a very pure form of white powder heroin from Southeast Asia. Today, people usually use the name as a slang term for powder heroin that contains heroin mixed with fentanyl. China White can also refer to fentanyl alone.
Heroin is a drug that belongs to a class of drugs called opioids. Fentanyl is an opioid that’s between 25 and 50 times stronger than heroin.
The potency of each of these drugs varies on the street. Alpha-methylfentanyl is a designer drug that is usually similar in potency to fentanyl. Dilaudid, ,, , , , , ,
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a powder derived from opium poppies. It may come from South America, Mexico, or Southeast and Southwest Asia.
Most heroin in the United States comes from South America, but “black tar” varieties from Mexico are more common in the western US. It has the appearance of coal or roofing tar, with a dark brown to black color.
The drug is extremely addictive. It works by binding to mu-opioid receptors in the brain. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these receptors are turned on, as a result,
stimulating the release of dopamine and inducing a feeling of pleasure. Normally, the body’s natural neurotransmitters bind to these same receptors to release dopamine.
The process regulates pain and hormone release. It also helps a person naturally feel a sense of wellbeing.
, , , , , ,
Cutting agents used in China White:
- Phenolphthalein: This substance has been used as a laxative, acid, or base indicator, and is a known carcinogenic, but its reasons for cutting heroin are not fully known.
- Paracetamol: An over-the-counter painkiller, it has a bitter taste and a mild analgesic effect. It might be used to disguise poor-quality heroin and is commonly used in many countries.
- Fentanyl: This narcotic pain medication is used as a cutting agent or sold as heroin. It is as much as 100 times more potent than morphine.
- Tylenol PM: Cutting black tar heroin with these tablets is more practical because of the cooking process used for creating what’s known as cheese heroin. Other medications with diphenhydramine and acetaminophen may be used as well.
Flour, chalk, talcum powder, starch, and more dangerous agents, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, alprazolam, ecstasy, and crack cocaine, may also be used.
The purity of street heroin, therefore, can vary greatly, anywhere from 3-99 percent, based on statistics.