Drug and Alcohol - Opioid Addiction - Trends and Statistics

What Is Purple Heroin? Dangers & Effects

What is Purple Heroin? Dangers & Effects

What is purple heroin? This emerging form of heroin is as deadly as every other form of heroin. Learn more about purple heroin in our blog.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

Opioid Addiction

Trends and Statistics

April 19, 2023

Change is a constant in the world of addictive drugs. New forms and varieties of drugs appear daily. One of the most recent is a form of heroin called purple heroin.

Heroin abuse has been a significant problem in the United States for several years, and there has been a concerning rise in heroin abuse in recent years. Several factors have contributed to the rise in heroin abuse in the US. One of the most significant factors is the increase in prescription opioid abuse. Many individuals addicted to prescription opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, may turn to heroin as a cheaper and more readily available alternative.

In addition, the heroin sold on the streets is often cheaper and stronger than prescription opioids, making it a more attractive option for individuals struggling with addiction. Also, many illicit opioid stashes are contaminated with fentanyl, a very powerful and lethal opioid.

Another factor contributing to the rise in heroin abuse is the availability of high-purity heroin. The purity of heroin sold on the streets has increased in recent years, making it easier for individuals to become addicted and overdose. 

Addressing the rise in heroin abuse in the US requires a comprehensive approach, including increasing access to addiction treatment, improving the regulation of prescription opioids, and addressing social and economic factors that contribute to addiction.

By the Numbers

According to data from National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin-related drug overdose deaths increased from 1,960 in 1999 to 15,482 in 2017. 

What Is Purple Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from the opium poppy plant. It belongs to a class of drugs known as opioids, including prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.

Acetaminophen, the active component of Tylenol, heroin, and the relatively new substance morphine combine to create Purple Heroin.

Purple heroin is named after its color. However, some suggest that it can also be grey. The mixture is frequently more than just heroin when purple, though this is not always true.

When heroin is consumed, it enters the brain and binds to opioid receptors, which are located throughout the body. This results in a surge of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. As a result, users experience a euphoric high, accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and heavy limbs.

However, heroin use also has numerous negative side effects. In addition to addiction, regular drug use can lead to tolerance, meaning that higher doses are needed to achieve the same effects. Over time, users may experience various physical and mental health problems, including respiratory depression, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia.

Heroin use can also increase the risk of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis and overdose. Heroin overdose is a major cause of death among drug users, as it can result in respiratory failure, coma, and death.

Due to the highly addictive nature of heroin, quitting the drug can be incredibly difficult. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, depression, insomnia, sweating, and muscle cramps. In order to overcome addiction, individuals may require a combination of medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapy, and social support.

How Does Purple Heroin Work?

Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive opioid drug derived from brorphine, a naturally occurring substance found in the seed pods of the opium poppy plant. Heroin is typically sold as a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin.

When heroin enters the body, it quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors modulate the body's pain, reward, and other physiological functions. When heroin binds to these receptors, it triggers a release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This dopamine flood causes intense euphoria and relaxation, often called a "rush."

However, heroin also suppresses the activity of the central nervous system, which can cause a range of dangerous and potentially deadly side effects. In addition to slowing down breathing and heart rate, heroin use can cause sedation, confusion, and impaired motor function. In some cases, heroin use can lead to coma or death from respiratory failure.

Repeated use of heroin can lead to physical dependence, meaning the body has adapted to the presence of the drug and requires it to function normally. Withdrawal from heroin can be extremely uncomfortable and cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, and severe pain.

Thus, heroin works by binding to mu-opioid receptors in the brain and triggering a release of dopamine, which leads to intense feelings of pleasure and relaxation. However, it can also cause dangerous and potentially deadly side effects, and repeated use can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

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What Is Purple Heroin Often Mixed With?

To increase its effects, purple heroin is frequently blended with different drugs and substances. In addition to dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl, these additions may also contain acetaminophen, caffeine, and other potent medications. Although this combination of drugs can produce a high solid, it also raises the possibility of overdose and death. In addition, purple heroin's elemental composition can vary greatly, making it challenging to assess its effects and potential risks.

Because of this, it's essential for people to understand the dangers of taking purple heroin and to get help right away if they have any adverse effects.


On the black market of illegal drugs, brorphine is a brand-new, powerful synthetic opioid. It is frequently blended with chemicals and substances, like purple heroin, to boost its potency and effects. The risks of using brorphine are not yet fully understood because of its recent development and the broad variation in its composition. However, it is known to be incredibly potent and can lead to serious health issues, including overdose and death.

Therefore, people should be aware of the potential dangers of using brorphine and seek medical help immediately if they encounter any negative side effects. As the risks of using this medicine outweigh any potential advantages, it is not recommended for use.


Buspirone is used to treat anxiety. It's not addictive or a controlled substance. However, buspirone can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs like heroin.


In order to increase the effects of other substances like purple heroin or brorphine, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is frequently added. Even in tiny dosages, its tremendous potency can result in fatal overdose and other serious health issues. Fentanyl's strength has made it a significant contributor to the opioid epidemic and the cause of many overdose deaths in recent years.

People should be aware of the risks posed by fentanyl and refrain from consuming any drugs that might contain it. It is critical to get medical assistance immediately if you think you or someone you know may have been exposed to fentanyl because there is a very serious danger of overdose and death.


Vitamin B3 in the form of niacinamide is frequently utilized for several health advantages, including lowering inflammation and enhancing skin health. It is not an addictive substance and has no risk of overdosing, unlike opioids like fentanyl or brorphine. When taken as directed, niacinamide is generally considered safe and present in many over-the-counter dietary supplements and skincare items. Although there may be a few minor adverse effects, such as skin flushing or digestive pain, these are often transient and not life-threatening. To determine the proper dosage, speak with a healthcare professional if you are considering using it.


A popular over-the-counter painkiller and fever reliever, acetaminophen is frequently present in various household drugs. When used as prescribed, acetaminophen does not carry the risk of addiction or overdose like opioids like fentanyl or bromocriptine do. However, excessive paracetamol use might harm the liver, so it's crucial to stick to the suggested dosage and not exceed the daily maximum. Moreover, taking paracetamol with alcohol is not advised because doing so can cause more liver damage. It is advised to consult a healthcare professional for guidance if you have any concerns about using paracetamol or are experiencing any side effects.


Large animals like elephants are frequently sedated using a powerful synthetic opioid. Due to its potency and great risk of overdose and death, it is not meant for human usage and is therefore regarded as extremely hazardous. To improve their strength, carfentanil is frequently added to other narcotics like heroin, making them even more hazardous for individuals who use them.

Carfentanil is a restricted substance generally forbidden for human usage because of its extreme potency and risk of adverse effects. It is crucial to seek medical assistance immediately if you think you or someone you know may have been exposed to carfentanil because there is a great danger of overdose and death.


Flualprazolam is a benzodiazepine drug and prescription sedative. Benzos are highly addictive. When mixed with alcohol or opioids like purple heroin, they can become lethal.

What Are the Symptoms of Addiction to Purple Heroin?

The symptoms of Purple Heroin addiction can vary from person to person and can be physical, behavioral, and psychological. However, here are some common symptoms of heroin addiction:

Cravings for Heroin

A strong urge to use heroin regularly or an inability to stop using it


The need to use more heroin to achieve the same effects

Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, and muscle aches when the person stops using heroin.

Social Isolation

The person may withdraw from friends and family and become isolated.

Neglecting Responsibilities

The person may neglect work, school, or family obligations

Financial Problems

The person may experience financial problems due to spending money on heroin

Risky Behavior

The person may engage in risky behaviors such as stealing, driving under the influence, or having unprotected sex.

Physical Signs

The person may have constricted pupils, track marks on their arms or legs, and appear drowsy or in a stupor

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What Are the Side Effects of Purple Heroin?

Purple heroin consumption can have a variety of short- and long-term symptoms and adverse effects. Purple heroin use can have a number of frequent side effects, including:

Physical Dependence

Heroin is highly addictive, and with repeated use, the body develops a tolerance to the drug. This means that the user needs more and more of the drug to achieve the same high. Over time, the body becomes physically dependent on the drug, and withdrawal symptoms may occur if the drug is not used.


Heroin overdose can lead to respiratory depression, coma, and even death.

Damage to Vital Organs

Heroin use can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and heart.

Infectious Diseases

Heroin addiction is associated with an increased risk of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C.

Mental Health Issues

Heroin addiction is associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Social and Financial Problems

Heroin addiction can lead to problems with employment, relationships, and finances.

Criminal Activity

Heroin addiction is associated with an increased risk of criminal activity, such as theft, to support the habit.

Treatment of Addiction to Purple Heroin

The treatment of Purple Heroin addiction typically involves a combination of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapy. Here are some of the common approaches to treating heroin addiction:

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT involves the use of medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for heroin. These medications can help individuals manage their addiction and achieve long-term recovery.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or contingency management, can help individuals modify their behaviors and develop coping skills to avoid relapse.

Support Groups

Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery can provide individuals with peer support and guidance on managing their addiction.

Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment

Depending on the severity of the addiction, individuals may benefit from inpatient drug rehab or outpatient drug rehab treatment programs. Inpatient treatment involves staying at a facility for an extended period, while outpatient treatment allows individuals to attend therapy and treatment sessions while living at home.

Holistic Treatments

Some individuals may benefit from holistic treatments such as yoga, meditation, or acupuncture, which can help manage stress and promote relaxation.

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The Edge Treatment Center Effectively Treats Heroin Addiction

The Edge Treatment Center provides a safe and supportive environment for patients to receive effective, evidence-based care for heroin addiction. We employ highly trained treatment professionals specializing in addiction medicine with the latest tools and technologies to provide comprehensive care. 

The Edge also offers a range of support services, including individual and group therapy sessions, family therapy, and aftercare planning to help patients maintain their sobriety after leaving our facility.

Purple heroin or otherwise, heroin is an addictive and very dangerous drug to abuse. Want to learn more about our heroin treatment programs? Reach out to The Edge Treatment Center today.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.