Heroin is an extremely addictive drug on its own. Fentanyl is a narcotic and sedative used to help alleviate pain after surgeries or other procedures. It is a synthetic opioid analgesic. On its own, Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine. It is also used for pain such as for those who are in the end-stages of cancer. It’s not a drug to be taken lightly.
Now, just imagine combining heroin and fentanyl in a cocktail-like mixture; it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Fentanyl overdoses are so similar to heroin overdoses, sometimes it is extremely hard to determine which drug was abused (if used separately). If a patient visits the ER for an overdose, urine samples do not pick up on fentanyl at all.
Just as long ago as March 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a national alert warning that there has been a national uptick in heroin-laced-fentanyl overdoses. Seizures by law enforcement of illegal drugs mixed with fentanyl have also surged. In 2013, there were 942 submissions of fentanyl drug mixed confiscations, in 2014, there were 3,344 cases. Confiscations of fentanyl have more than tripled during that time. And now, fentanyl mixed with heroin is causing many overdoses and deaths.
An Unknown Cocktail
When fentanyl is mixed with heroin, the results can be fatal. This is a concoction of a prescription drug and a street drug, with disastrous effects. Buying drugs off the street, such as heroin mixed with fentanyl, is a mixed bag. You never know what you are going to get. Some addicted individuals do not know that the heroin they bought off the street has been mixed with fentanyl, often causing terrible end results (extreme addictions, side effects, or death).
For those who do know that the heroin is spiked with fentanyl, they are seeking a greater high. Fentanyl is given to patients who suffer from pain but are for those who have become “immune” (developed a tolerance) to other opioids. This is why they search for a stronger alternative.
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Abuse of fentanyl and heroin is like many other substances of abuse, it alters the way the brain functions, leading to addiction. Abusing drugs leads the user into a vicious circle. They first try drugs, such as opiates, and receive incredible highs, but after using the drugs for a while, their systems become dull and desensitized. This causes the individual to seek out more potent forms of a drug, in order to feel the same (or even stronger) highs.
Just A Little Bit
Those who buy heroin on the street may not know if it contains fentanyl. The dealers on the street may not even know how much fentanyl has been mixed with the heroin. Even a small amount of fentanyl mixed with heroin can be lethal because fentanyl on its own is so powerful. Just a tiny amount can have a huge impact on how it affects your body.
Because prescription opiate medications are harder or even inaccessible to obtain and are costly, some believe this has pushed more people to use heroin mixed with fentanyl.
A Special Note To Those Who Are Struggling
Fentanyl is so potent that it is used as perhaps a last resort to experience the thrills of being high after other drugs just don’t have the same effects. So the serious question to ask is: Why are you doing this to yourself?
If you are abusing heroin mixed with fentanyl knowingly or even unknowingly, why are you abusing drugs at all? Is there an underlying reason why you are putting your body though so much damage? Maybe you suffered a trauma, like a sexual assault, and you want to hide the pain. Or perhaps you suffered the loss of a loved one and you turned to drugs to numb reality.
Maybe you just wanted to experiment with drugs after you were given a prescription medication, and you are embarrassed that you have developed a craving or addiction. Or maybe you are addicted to heroin, and you did not know your drugs were spiked with fentanyl, and now you crave that high.
Maybe there is no “real” reason for your drug use and you are just making bad choices and are seeking a high. But, realize there are better ways to effectively cope. There are better ways to address your emotions. Look at yourself in the mirror. Is this the person you want to be? Look at your life. The next time you decide to use drugs, the next time you visit someone on the street for your next high, the next time you overdose, could be your last.
Do you realize how serious this is? You could die. No matter how good or great a high may feel, there is always a risk that you could die. A high is temporary, death is permanent.
Seek Help Today
This is your life. Seek help now. Even if you feel that nobody cares about you, it’s not true. There are people who care for and your well-being. And you need to reach out to those who can help before it’s too late. Maybe you are reading this right now because you are searching for something, anything to help you because you feel guilty and at a loss. Maybe you stumbled upon this blog post and these words are hitting home right now. And perhaps you even feel helpless.
Abusing drugs has likely destroyed or severely strained your family relationships, your ties with friends, or your devotion to a spouse or partner. But you are not alone. There is hope and there is help. Don’t wait. Contact us today at Vertava Health right now and we will be there for you, helping you each step of the way as you find a new and healthy life.