The journey of Heroin to the streets of America is long and eventful. It begins with the plantation of the seeds of Opium Poppy, a flower whose botanical name being Papaver Somniferum. This flower was called Hul Gil by the Sumerians and is mainly grown by poor farmers on the small plots around the remote areas around the world. It thrives in climates that are dry and warm and majority of these flowers grows in a 4500 miles stretched of mountains which extend across the Southern part of Asia including Turkey through Laos and Pakistan. It is becoming a huge export from Colombia.
The production of Opium
Three months after the seeds of poppy got planted; there are flowers with bright colors flowers which begin to bloom near the tips of the stems which are tubular and greenish. The petals begin to fall away and a seed pod which is shaped like an egg is exposed and within it is the milky opaque sap. It is the crudest form of Opium. The pod is slitted in a vertical way with special knives that are curved. A brownish black gum is formed when the sap oozes, it turns thicker and darker.
A farmer then collects the gum with the help of a knife used for scrapping and then gets it bundled it into bricks, balls or cakes and gets them wrapped in a material like leaves or plastic. The opium is ready to enter into black market. The packages are transported to a concerned morphine refinery which is equipped with the oil drums in which the opium gets mixed with the lime into the considerable amount of boiling water. The precipitate of the organic waste gets sunk to the bottom while the morphine form remains on its surface.
This morphine form is re-heated with ammonia and then boiled and filtered again till it gets reduced into a paste brown in colour. It is then poured into the molds and kept under the sun to dry in order to form the morphine base which can be smoked in a concerned pipe. It was C.R.Wright who being a notable English researcher was the first to process Heroin in the year 1874. Martin Booth has described the process of the manufacture of heroin acetic anhydride and morphine are taken in equal quantities that takes the formation of impure diacetylmorphine. After which chloroform and water are added for precipitation of the impurities. Then the solution gets drained & Sodium Carbonate is added to solidify the heroin which gets filtered out & purified with the help of alcohol. After this the solution is heated so that the alcohol can evaporate and the heroin is left behind.
The final product provides the white fluffy powder which is known as heroin in the business of trade.
The business of Heroin
When heroin the peddled in the city streets in considerably smaller bags the price goes from $5 to $100; the value becomes much more from its arrival along the US. It enters a multi-layered distribution chain when it comes out from the laboratories in places like Hong Kong or Bangkok with top brokers dealing in bulk shipments. Purity in heroin has sharply risen and markets are being expanded beyond addicts who usually injects heroin which means you can either smoke or inhale it.
Ten tons of the raw opium is reduced to 1 ton of the heroin and more than half of it is for the United States.