Drug and Alcohol - Opioid Addiction

Purple Heroin: Everything You Need to Know About this Colorful Version of Heroin

What is purple heroin? Learn more about this potent and deadly form of heroin in our blog. Opioid addiction is a very lethal form of addiction.

Purple Heroin: Your Guide to This Dangerous Form of Heroin

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

October 12, 2023

The Forge Recovery Center

In the shadows of the illicit drug world, where danger lurks, and new substances emerge, a new and mysterious player has emerged, sending shockwaves through the underground circuits.

Purple Heroin.

While the dangers of heroin are well-documented, this enigmatic variant has garnered attention for its potent and deadly reputation.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a very potent opioid. It has a simple and harmless white powdered appearance, but its dependence has deadly health consequences. It is mainly used as a recreational drug to get high. Some countries use it for managing pain, but that is not the case in the United States of America. Heroin is not accepted for medicinal use in the country. It is illegally sold on the street by names like dope, smack, junk, and snow.

The National Institute of Drug  Abuse (NIDA) reports that 1.1 million people, or 0.4% of the population in the country, have used heroin. Almost 1 million people have heroin use disorder (HUD). If we look at the overdose rate, 9,173 people in the year 2021 lost their life due to heroin overdose. 

Heroin has many facets and types. It is available in several forms, like white powder heroin, black tar heroin, speedball, blue heroin, brown powder, and purple heroin. All of them have distinct features and are different from each other. Today, we will be focusing on purple heroin. Let's look deeper into the meaning, appearance, side effects, dangers, and treatment of purple heroin addiction. 

What is Purple Heroin?

You must have come across the term purple heroin or purple rock heroin. It is a street name for a particular type of heroin that has a very potent nature. As the name suggests, purple heroin has a distinct purple color. This is why the street names purp, purple powder drug, purple x drug, and purple rock drug are also known.

This drug has made national headlines several times. Whether it is about the dangers of a new drug or overdose deaths, purple heroin has a severe impact. Purple heroin is an opioid drug that is produced from morphine that is extracted from opium poppy plant seeds. Purple heroin is dangerous because it is highly addictive and can lead to long-term health implications, including death. 

Its strengthened potency is due to the addition of synthetic opioids. The dangers of using purple heroin are well-known to people, but this hasn't done anything to prevent its popularity. Every year the trending reports indicate its increased usage and overdose deaths. This is especially the case with the population living in urban areas.

Purple heroin is generally combined with fentanyl, morphine, and acetaminophen. The amount of synthetic opioids used while making purple heroin is still unknown. It is considered that every batch of purple heroin is different from one another. No one knows what ingredients or how many additional substances are used to manufacture it.  

Adding these substances increases the potential for addiction, overdose, and death. This is why it is tough to identify the side effects, as the combination changes every time. It is highly recommended to seek medical attention when someone experiences any signs or effects. Let's quickly discuss the appearance of purple heroin and its generally available form.  

What Does Purple Heroin Look Like?

The name purple heroin naturally comes from its purple color. However, this is not the only color it's available in. One may come across grayish-purple heroin too. Purple heroin is commonly available in purple/grey powder or crystal or rocky formulations. It isn't easy to guess what other substances have been combined because the color purple does not give much indication.

Some believe the purple color in the purple heroin is because heroin has a purple tinge. Others, however, counter this since heroin is white or brownish. Researchers and doctors have often claimed that the color is altogether not natural but added as a marketing ploy to attract users. It is said that drug traffickers and manufacturers capitalize on the notion that purple heroin is potent, so they add an unnatural color. 

The reality is that regardless of the color of heroin, it will remain dangerous. Even a slight dose of heroin can cause addiction and lead to further health complications. Street drugs are highly unreliable and risky. Almost all street drugs are cut with other substances, and that combination can be deadly. The taste of purple heroin has varying experiences and reports. Some say it's difficult to discern, while others say it has no odor or taste. 

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What is Purple Heroin Made Of?

Purple heroin is often combined with other substances and chemicals to amplify and increase the effects. Some of the commonly combined drug substances are mentioned below:


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is highly potent and used for analgesic purposes. It is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. 


Carfentanil is another analgesic that is veterinary medicine used to sedate large animals like rhinoceros and elephants. It is available in the form of tranquilizer darts. 


Brorphine is an opioid analgesic sold illicitly in the US market. It can lead to several health problems. 


Niacinamide is a dietary supplement with medicinal purposes. It is an over-the-counter generic medication that has overdose effects like liver-related issues. 


Acetaminophen or paracetamol is a fever and pain medication available under the brand names Tylenol and Panadol.

Side Effects & Symptoms of Using Purple Heroin

There are various signs and symptoms of using purple heroin. Initial warning signs of addiction to purple heroin are increased irritability, secrecy, loss of interest and motivation, lack of physical hygiene, isolation, avoiding the presence of family and friends, sudden mood swings, and declining work performance.

The symptoms can have short-term and long-term natures. Some of the commonly experienced side effects are mentioned below. 

Short-Term Side Effects of Purple Heroin

A few short-term effects of purple heroin are pain relief, drowsiness, lack of coordination, euphoria, impaired cognitive control, constipation, vomiting, shallow breathing, low heart rate, and nausea.

Long-Term Side Effects of Purple Heroin

A few long-term effects of purple heroin include increased risk of infections, physical and psychological dependence, overdose, and even death. 

Additional Effects of Purple Heroin

The effect does not end with physical, mental, and behavioral health deterioration but also impacts social life. A person with purple heroin addiction can suffer financial loss, unemployment, legal issues, and relationship problems.

What are the Dangers of Using Purple Heroin?

Opioids are potent drugs that have caused thousands of deaths yearly in our country. These potent drugs include names like fentanyl and heroin. The users must be aware that today a drug like heroin is not purely heroin. Street drugs are being cut and laced with other deadly substances. Purple heroin is a type of heroin where drugs like Carfentanil are mixed. Carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.

Carfentanil is a kind of substance that is not even recommended for human consumption. It is a general anesthetic veterinarians use to treat humongous animals like elephants. Even the slightest dose of carfentanil can lead to fatal overdose and death. This is one of the reasons behind the increase in purple heroin overdose incidents. 

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Purple Heroin Overdose

It is a strong possibility that the user experiences a purple heroin overdose because it contains potent substances like fentanyl, heroin, and Carfentanil. The smallest dose can be too much and cause an overdose. Purple heroin is not produced and manufactured uniformly; one packet can contain a more deadly combination than another. There is surety of the drugs and the amount of drugs used. So, it is also possible that even the first dose can turn deadly. There are few symptoms of overdose commonly experienced by people. These are:

  • Constipation

  • Drowsiness

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Confusion

  • Low blood pressure

  • Smaller pupils

  • Dry mouth

  • Bluish skin

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Dry mouth

  • Slowed breathing

  • Slowed heartbeat

Naloxone is widely used to reverse these side effects. It has been said to be effective in treating purple heroin overdose. It is available under the brand name Narcan in general drug stores. 

How is Purple Heroin Different?

The major difference between purple heroin and other drugs is their potency levels. Powerful drugs such as this involve more risks. It is generally sold on the streets or on the black market. So there is no way of knowing what ingredients and substances are added while manufacturing it. Many people purchase purple heroin with the pre-existing notion that it is more potent than heroin.

The color purple does not denote its strength or character. There is no way of knowing if it's more potent than heroin because purp is not made uniformly with an equal amount of drug in each batch. It can vary from one packet to another.

Purple Heroin Addiction Treatment 

Treatment for purple heroin addiction would be similar to heroin and opioid treatment. In both cases, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) gets opted to reduce the intensity of drug craving and withdrawal symptoms. Methadone was among the early medications that were used in the treatment of heroin addiction. However, methadone is very addictive and can lead to severe health problems. Now there are many options available.  

Opioid Drug Detox

Purple heroin is a potent drug with potentially dangerous side effects. This is why the treatment would first start with medical detox. A drug detox is a procedure where the traces of purp get removed from the patient's body before the commencement of the main program. It should not be attempted without medical supervision, as patients can experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Instead, the doctors will manage the patients to minimize the withdrawal effects.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Many FDA-approved medications are there to treat heroin addiction. All these medicines help decrease the urge to use drugs and minimize the withdrawal effects. They can have short-term and long-term courses. Some of these medicines are Buprenorphine/Subutex, Naltrexone, and Suboxone.


Addiction damages a person's physical health and deteriorates mental health. This is why there is a need for therapy in addition to medications. These behavioral therapies help the patient learn new habits, techniques, and behavior to overcome the risk of relapse. Purple heroin and heroin both have high relapse rates, so it is vital to address underlying mental trauma. 

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Purple Heroin Can Be Deadly. Don’t Risk a Drug Overdose: Contact The Forge Recovery Center Today

The illegal drug market is hazardous and dynamic in nature. More and more teens and young adults are trapped in the cycle of drug dependence. There is a severe lack of information about the dangers of using such substances. Despite various visual and literary media portrayals of substance abuse and addiction, the reality is much worse. 

Many people do not realize how quickly everything spirals out of control. It is also vital to understand that all addiction cases are different. Every person is unique and has different mental and physical health conditions. This is why the effects and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse will also be different. If you or someone close to you are struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) or substance use disorder (SUD), you need professional help.

At The Forge Recovery Center, we take pride in being a leading addiction treatment center. We focus on providing patient-centric care that guides individuals toward sobriety and helps them break free from drug dependency. We offer a wide range of drug rehabilitation programs designed to systematically address the cycle of abuse.

By considering the intensity of addiction, underlying mental and physical health conditions, and family history, we formulate and design personalized plans for each individual. If you’re interested in learning more about our effective, evidence-based opioid treatment programs and why they’re successful, reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today.

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