There are several forms of heroin on the black market today, including cheese heroin. Cheese heroin is a mixture of Mexican black tar heroin and crushed Tylenol PM tablets.
Cheese heroin typically appears as a tan-colored powder that may be snorted with a tube, straw, or ballpoint pen. The drug is packaged and sold in single-use small plastic “baggies”.
How Cheese Heroin Is Made
Heroin originates from the morphine harvested from the opium poppy plant that typically grows in South America or Asia. Once taken from the plant, it can be chemically refined into a powder or tar-like substance.
White or brown powder heroin is considerably purer than black tar heroin, and also far more costly to the consumer.
Tylenol PM is a widely available over-the-counter drug that features the antihistamine diphenhydramine and the painkiller acetaminophen. It can be purchased in most pharmacies.
To offer an affordable alternative to black tar or powder heroin, many heroin makers in Mexico mix black tar heroin with Tylenol PM tablets to create a product they could turn a profit from.
How Cheese Heroin Is Abused
Similar to other forms of heroin, cheese heroin can be abused using several methods of ingestion. These include snorting it, injecting it intravenously, smoking heroin, or rectally inserting it.
The most popular way to take cheese heroin is through insufflation, or snorting, rather than by intravenous injection.
Other Facts About Cheese Heroin
Cheese heroin first came to the attention of the media after a string of adolescent deaths in 2006 in Dallas County, Texas, and other North Texas locations.
Other facts about this type of heroin include:
- The potency of cheese heroin is far lower than other forms of heroin.
- The low price of cheese heroin has made it a common choice among young people.
- The Dallas Police Department has reported that cheese heroin accounts for approximately 37 percent of all drug use by students in Dallas ISD high schools.
- Cheese heroin may sell for a few dollars, whereas an equivalent dosage of pure heroin would sell for many times more.
The chance of overdose or other health risks is higher for cheese heroin due to the unknown number of additives present in the formulation.
Treatment Programs For Heroin Abuse
If you, a friend, or a loved one are currently addicted to opiate drugs, help is available at an evidence-based treatment facility.
Treatment options for heroin drug addiction may include:
- inpatient heroin rehab programs
- outpatient heroin programs
- dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
- support groups and 12-step programs
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- medically monitored detox programs
Even though cheese heroin is not as potent as other types of opioids, it still accounts for several hospitalizations and overdose deaths every year. It can also cause permanent organ damage and cognitive decline.
Find Heroin Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
Call Bedrock Recovery Center today for more information about our inpatient treatment program for heroin use. Our team can answer your questions and help you achieve long-term sobriety.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Heroin DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
- National Institute of Health (NIH) — Cheese: an old drug in a new wrapper https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22765999/
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Evidence-Based Resources About Opioid Overdose https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/overdose
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — Heroin https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/heroin
- U.S. National Library of Medicine — Characteristics of Mexican and Mexican American Adolescents in Treatment for “Cheese” Heroin Use https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151481/