Prepping a shot of heroin, why the lighter?

I’ve never seen anyone use a lighter in real life in documentaries, never seen a lighter used in real either.

Yet in a lot of old movies and heroin addict media you’ll see a lighter applied to the spoon with the water or the water and heroin, what does that accomplish?

Helps the drug dissolve better.

Unless smoking it, the lighter is used to inject it. Street heroin is a solid. In order to inject it, it must be dissolved into a liquid. The user adds a small amount of liquid with the solid - in a spoon say - then holds a lighter under the spoon to boil the liquid and help dissolve the solid into it.

You have seen heroin addicts shoot up without dissolving the heroin first? :dubious:

Told you they were “hardcore”. :smiley:

If it’s a very small shot of pure-ish stuff, cooking it isn’t really necessary. As others have said, though, it’s generally to help the dope dissolve faster.

If not a lighter, a candle …

(bolding mine)

Apologies for the <nitpick>, but I’m pretty sure that you can’t inject heroin with a lighter. :dubious: Heat, yes. But not heroin. :wink:
And ‘street’ heroin is usually in a powdered state. (Personally, I’ve never come across or heard of any other kind of heroin.)

Powders are solids… Heat definitely helps it dissolve too.

The black tar dissolves more readily than the white powder but adding heat is still preferable I would think.

Not in my corner of the world. Mostly it is in ‘tar’ form, a sticky brown solid when I’ve seen it*. ETA: And I’ve seen folks actually vaporize it and smoke the vapor through a straw, though apparently harder core addicts regard that as wasteful ( yes, I’ve seen the progression ).

  • Not a user, but I had an addict friend some years ago.

I stand corrected. Yes, ‘powder’ is a solid. :smack:

:smack: Again, I stand corrected. It’s been a long time since I was around all of that sort of thing. :wink:

What I meant by this statement, “(Personally, I’ve never come across or heard of any other kind of heroin.)”, is I’ve never heard of heroin being available anywhere but ‘on the street’.
Heroin, AFAIK isn’t used by the professional medical community. Doctors and hospitals use the refined form of heroin, morphine.
I could be wrong about that, though. :confused:
Perhaps Qadgop the Mercotan will drop by and give us a more knowledgable answer on the subject.

A lighter/candle is simpler than a teeny-tiny hot plate or Bunsen burner.

While I enjoy being a renaissance man and having a breadth of knowledge, I find myself very pleasantly surprised that I’m entirely ignorant on this topic. And I think I’ll choose to remain so, perhaps for the first time in my life.

It is used as a strong analgesic in he UK. See here.

This is probably a really stupid question, but… do they let it cool down before they inject it? :eek: I can’t imagine what sort of damage bubbling hot liquid would do to your veins, but I also can’t imagine that these are very patient people with great delayed gratification skills.

But to make things even stranger I just found during research that heroin is more soluble in cold water, rather than hot. I also found the claim that they are boiling it to kill bacteria, I’m curious if that would even work.(sterilizing water and drug solution with boiling using a lighter)

It’s a few drops of liquid. It’s Colby the time it is drawn up into the syringe.

As Storyguide points out, heroin is certainly used in medicine - as diacetylmorphine. Morphine itself is also used.

I stand to be corrected but so far as I know, heroin is refined from morphine, not the other way around.

The source is opium poppies which are grown legally on farms in Tasmania and probably other places. I must confess to being startled when I first saw a crop. There were no razor wire fences or any visible security but I’m sure you couldn’t just wander into a paddock and fill your pockets. Also the paddocks were away from any roads.