As an illegal drug, heroin is sold on the street. It’s typically cheaper than other street drugs.
Heroin Street Value
Most drug dealers sell heroin in small paper or plastic bags. One bag usually contains about one-tenth of a gram of heroin. The average price of one bag ranges between $5 and $20, depending on factors like purity and location.
White powder heroin is the purest form of the drug and, in general, the most expensive. Brown powder heroin is slightly less pure and slightly less expensive, while black tar heroin is the least pure and the cheapest.
In addition, to decrease production costs, some drug dealers cut powder heroin with additives like baking soda, starch, and powdered milk. This type of heroin is considered impure and therefore on the cheaper side.
Heroin likely costs less in big cities than in rural areas. That’s because cities tend to have a higher supply of heroin, which leads to lower street prices.
The Price Of Heroin Vs. The Price Of Other Drugs
In general, heroin is much cheaper than other illicit drugs. For example, a gram of methamphetamine usually costs about $60, while a gram of cocaine costs about $100.
Heroin also costs less than most prescription drugs, including prescription opioids. For instance, on the street, an OxyContin tablet generally costs between $30 and $80.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 94% of people with opioid addiction prefer heroin over prescription opioids because it’s so much cheaper. It’s also easier to find in most cases.
Why Is Heroin Cheaper Than Other Drugs?
Like other opioids, heroin is made from the opium poppy plant. Over the last few years, opium poppy production has increased in Afghanistan, which is one of the world’s top heroin suppliers. As heroin supplies increase, prices decrease.
The Price Of Heroin Addiction
While heroin itself may be cheap, the cost of heroin addiction is significant. Heroin addiction is a substance use disorder that makes you feel unable to stop using heroin.
Many people with the condition buy about 10 to 15 bags of heroin per day, meaning they could spend at least $20,000 per year on the drug. People with severe addictions may spend over $100,000 per year.
Heroin addiction also has non-financial costs, including:
Most people with heroin addiction find it difficult to focus on anything besides getting and using the drug. As a result, they often withdraw from their loved ones and start associating only with other people who use heroin.
In addition, like other types of drug addiction, heroin addiction can make you moody and irritable. These effects can quickly wreak havoc on your relationships with friends and family. In severe cases, you could even lose custody of your children.
Issues At Work Or School
One of the most common signs of heroin addiction is loss of motivation. Also, if you’re addicted to heroin but suddenly lose access to it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like trouble concentrating, fatigue, and depression.
All of these effects can cause you to fall behind at work or school. That’s why many people with heroin addiction lose their jobs.
When you’re high on heroin or desperate to obtain it, you’re more likely to engage in criminal acts, such as trespassing, theft, and assault. These acts can lead to large fines and jail time. They can also hinder your ability to secure employment and housing.
Chronic heroin use increases your risk of numerous physical and mental health problems, including:
- insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- sexual dysfunction
- nasal damage (from snorting heroin)
- pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other lung problems (from smoking heroin)
- HIV, hepatitis C, and other infections (from sharing equipment for injecting heroin)
Heroin also poses a high risk of overdose. Common symptoms include confusion, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. A heroin overdose can be fatal, especially if the drug has been laced with fentanyl (an opioid that’s about 50 times more powerful than heroin).
If you or a loved one struggles with heroin use or another type of drug use, please contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Fentanyl Facts
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Heroin use is driven by its low cost and high availability
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the medical complications of chronic heroin use?
- United States National Library of Medicine — Heroin
- The Washington Post — Overwhelmed By Opium
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.