Heroin stamps are very tiny packages of heroin about the size of a postage stamp. Other slang phrases through the years have been “hit”, “score”, “joy bag” and “gear”. In the UK, a “ten-bag” are several heroin stamps lumped together in one bag that has a street value of ten pounds. Sometimes heroin dealers may use their own slang phrases in order to try and throw off police or other eavesdroppers.
But how about if you find a strange little flat plastic-wrapped packet in the pocket of your loved one’s clothes, luggage or shelves? They may also be kept in many other hiding places. The chances are if it seems to be in a hiding place, then it is a heroin stamp or some other potent narcotic.
Many Variations on a Theme
Heroin can be sold in powder or small pills. Usually, the color is white, but some dealers may try to dye it another color just to throw off suspicion. The most economical way for a dealer to sell heroin is in powdered form. Powder is weighed and placed carefully into either a small square of plastic, regular paper or wax paper.
Vellum bags used by stamp collectors may also be used, which is another reason why the packets are called “stamps”. These bags are called glassine bags and can be easily bought for many innocuous reasons wholesale in numerous legal businesses. Even Martha Stewart sells them.
Sometimes, these little flat packages may have logos or mottos stamped onto them. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, some mottos or slogans are “Come up”, “Cream”, “Bin Laden”, “Obama”, “Blue Magic” or “Get high or die trying.” There may also be images such as cartoon figures, airplanes about to hit the World Trade Center or business logos. The Post-Gazette concluded that this is a way of making a buyer loyal to a particular dealer in a similar way that soft drink or sneaker buyers look for a particular brand.
On the Spoon
It could be that you do not realize heroin is being used on your property until you come across the spoons. If your home is missing a lot of metal spoons, then this can be a clue. You don’t even need to see a stamp with powder init nearby, but empty tiny bags may clue you in.
Metal spoons are needed to help smoke the heroin or turn it into liquid before it is injected. Individual heroin users are very creative as to how they administer their drug. The spoons may be bent in odd ways or even have part of the handle snapped off in order to help the user better heat up the powder. The back of the spoons are usually stained with a bizarre rainbow of colors that was produced from a cigarette lighter to heat the metal in order to turn the powder liquid.
About.com. “Heroin Drug Slang Dictionary.” http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/herpes/l/blsldicher.htm
Good Blog. “Heroin Stamps as Art.” http://www.good.is/post/heroin-stamps-as-art
Author was homeless for five years in the UK