Several years ago stories of mass overdoses and tainted heroin would have shocked the nation. Nowadays, these stories are becoming too commonplace. While laws and regulations are making prescription narcotics more difficult to obtain, and the demand for potent drugs is increasing, so drug dealers are improvising and often making a very dangerous situation much worse.
Opioids mixed with fentanyl have become the newest trend among illicit drugs, and the deadly combination has been claiming record numbers of lives. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is generally only administered in hospitals to patients with severe pain. Drug manufacturers have begun to include Fentanyl in batches of heroin and even batches of pressed pills. Addicts who are not expecting such a lethal drug often maintain their usual level of use, thinking it is the same potentcy. This causes mass overdoses in an area where the local dealers continue to include fentanyl in their heroin batches.
Many prescription painkiller addicts will argue that pills are safer than heroin. The idea that you always know what you’re taking and how much is no longer true. Drug dealers have changed the landscape of painkillers obtained on the street as well. In order to meet the demands of prescription drug addicts, dealers now have the ability to make their own “pills” putting in whatever ingredients they can get their hands on. Addicts begin unknowingly consuming anything that their dealer sells them. This can, and has, caused deaths throughout the country.
“Anyone can press a pill these days. It’s not very expensive or difficult. Even if you look it up, and it matches something you saw online, it could still literally be anything,” explains Lori Kufner, who works at the harm reduction organization Trip! Project.
Law enforcement and health officials are warning the public that street drugs are becoming more potent and unpredictable. Experts urge addicts to seek help before they fall victim to a “hot batch.” However, some addicts are not only undeterred, but are even seeking out the combination as a way to get stronger drugs. As a heroin addict becomes more entrenched in their addiction they oftentimes need more and more of the drug to feel the same kind of high. The promise of an extra powerful batch of heroin can entice addicts to buy more and use more.
Given that the drug scene is constantly changing – and getting worse by most accounts, there has to be more diligence on the part of friends and families to get help for their loved ones. The statement that their next hit could be their last has never been more true than it is today.
Contact Desert Cove now to find out how our addiction treatment program can help.