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Chasing The Dragon: Smoking Heroin And Fentanyl

What does it mean to chase the white dragon?

There are several ways to use heroin. You may have thought that injecting it into a vein with a syringe was the only way that the opiate addict could get high from heroin. While many drug users do use a needle, it is not the only way to do it. There is also snorting and smoking. Smoking heroin or fentanyl is sometimes called chasing the dragon.

What does it look like to chase the dragon?

Another drug that is used in this way is methamphetamine. Both meth and heroin are supplied in the form of a white powder. When smoking these drugs, the powder is placed on a piece of aluminum foil. Then, the user heats the foil with a lighter or torch. When the thick smoke begins to lazily drift up from the powder, the user then sucks it up through a straw, inhaling it into their lungs. Because of the mystical appearance of thick, slowly moving wisps of smoke hovering above the foil, it has been given the name, “chasing the dragon”, or “chasing the white dragon”.

Are there dangers to this technique of smoking heroin?

The usual dangers of heroin use are present when chasing the dragon. There is a risk of overdose and death from respiratory depression. Additionally, there are risks to inhaling smoke off of heated foil through a straw. It is likely that fumes from melted plastic will be inhaled from the straw. Also, there is a suspected link between aluminum consumption and Alzheimer’s disease. Smoking off of heated aluminum may lead to some aluminum particles getting into the user’s system through their lungs. There are other risks as well.

Was there a movie about chasing the white dragon.?

There was a drama in 2008, starring Amanda Ward and Ryan Kennedy, that tells a gripping tale that depicts methamphetamine use and abuse. It was named, “Chasing The White Dragon”. While the smoking of heroin and methamphetamine may be similar, the dangers of heroin use are far greater. Of course, methamphetamine is a very dangerous drug that destroys lives, but heroin is a much deadlier drug. It kills at a rate that is at least ten times greater than meth.

Are all addictions the same?

In some recovery groups, members describe addiction as being a single disease where the user is in danger of abusing any drug that is available. While there is some truth to this, for the most part, addictions to different substances do manifest in different ways. Opioid addiction is different from cocaine addiction. It is very difficult to quit opiates such as heroin and fentanyl. Users feel trapped by the threat of physical withdrawal symptoms and often follow a path to the nightmarish end of overdose and death. While the person who struggles with crystal methamphetamine addiction’s life implodes as they suffer from increasing paranoia and decline, they do not face the same risk of overdose death as the heroin addict.

Putting an end to the dragon.

It is important to educate drug users that smoking drugs in this manner is not in any way safer than other methods of use. Both opioid addicts and crystal meth users must understand that chasing the dragon only leads down a nightmare path of degradation and often death.

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