Author Topic: Killer batch of white heroin responsible for at least 100 deaths across the country... and rising  (Read 2768 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2549944/Killer-heroin-fentanyl-epidemic-responsible-100-deaths-country-rising-half-month.html

Killer batch of white heroin responsible for at least 100 deaths across the country... and rising

    The killer dope is a 50/50 blend of heroin and fentanyl

    It has killed 22 in Pittsburgh the past two weeks, and 37 more in Maryland since September and 22 more in Rhode Island this month

    Officials from New Hampshire to Washington are blaming it for spikes in overdose deaths

By Ryan Gorman

PUBLISHED: 22:58 EST, 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 01:36 EST, 1 February 2014

Heroin overdose deaths across the country are spiking as a deadly new variant of the drug mixed with a powerful painkiller is spreading from New Hampshire to Washington State.

The lethal combination of heroin and fentanyl, an opiate used to soothe the pain of cancer patients, is blamed for about 100 deaths from coast to coast. It is variously labelled as ‘bud ice,’ ‘income tax’ and ‘theraflu,’ authorities say.

The hardest hit states in the epidemic are Maryland, with more than three dozen deaths since September, and Pennsylvania, with almost two dozen this month alone, according to reports.
Bud ice: Named after a now-discontinued beer, the lethal heroin is blamed for dozens of deaths

The killer drug cocktail first gained national notoriety last week when Pittsburgh-area officials said it had killed 22 people since only January 16, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is so concerned about the deaths she announced a task force comprised of state, county and local police departments dedicated solely to eradicating it from Western Pennsylvania.

Though Pennsylvania’s cases have so far been the highest profile, Maryland’s medical examiner says 37 people in the state have died in the last five months from injecting the poisonous potion, CBS DC reported.

FENTANYL AT A GLANCE

    First synthesized in Belgium in the 1950s
    Brought into medical use in the 1960s
    Up to 100 times more potent than morphine
    Used mainly for pain management in cancer patients
    It is usually taken intravenously, but can be smoked or snorted
    Odorless, clear liquid or white crystalline powder

Source: Drug Enforcement Administration

The deaths were spread throughout the whole state, with 10 occurring in drug-ravaged Baltimore.

A further 22 people died of heroin-fentanyl overdoses in Rhode Island during the first two weeks of this year, officials told the Providence Journal.

'People believe that they’re shooting heroin but the substance does not look like heroin and they’re shooting it and they’re dying,' a rehabilitation expert told the paper.

Police in Portsmouth, NH, responded to three overdoses in a single 24-hour period one day last week alone, one of those people died, an official told Portsmouth Patch.

Authorities in Nassau County, a Long Island suburb of New York, say the deadly dope has recently killed at least five people, Newsday reported.

Other deaths linked to fentanyl-laced heroin have also been reported in Louisiana and Washington State.

People are overdosing because the combination of fentanyl and heroin is recent trend, and results in a much more powerful high than users have seen before.

Fentanyl is an opiate up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, Dr Karl Williams, the Allegheny County (PA) Medical Examiner told CBS News.

The people who died from overdose were all discovered to have taken the lethal combination.

‘They found almost exactly the same substance in those stamped bags, a fifty – fifty mixture of heroin with Fentanyl,’ he said, adding the opiate provides a higher high than heroin by itself.
Deadly: Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and is being blamed for the rash of recent deaths

A Pittsburgh addict who declined to be identified told CBS News of his close brush with death after taking ‘bud ice.’

His dealer told him to ‘be careful,’ which he said is the first time he’d ever been warned.

‘I go home, lock myself in my bathroom and I do [the drugs], and within 20 seconds I was out,’ he recalled, saying his mother broke down the door to revive him.

Maryland’s chief medical examiner told CBS Baltimore the heroin variant kills people by shutting down their respiratory system.

‘Both substances slow down your breathing and can eventually slow it down to the point of death.'
Officials in Louisiana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington State have also blamed the drug for overdoses in their regions, according to CBS.

Fentanyl-heroin combinations have reared their ugly heads in the past, most notably during the spring of 2006 in Chicago and Detroit – almost 300 people died from February to June while using the drug between the two cities, according to the Washington Post.
Not like normal heroin: The killer heroin has a white color (pictured), far from the yellow tinted heroin most often found on the street

Authorities say that the easiest way to spot the more lethal heroin cocktail is because it is white. Heroin usually has a yellow tint to it.

Even more scary, one expert told CBS News, is that dope slingers appear willing to let the drug kill some addicts because it will attract more business from junkies chasing a more potent high.

‘They're willing to lose four or five people to a drug overdose death to maybe attract 30 or 40 new customers and that's just the cost of doing business,’ said Dr. Neil Capretto of Gateway Rehab.

Sobering reality: The arrest of Tywon Newby (left) took a significant amount of the tainted dope of the streets, but also showed investigators dealers may have already started re-branding it to evade targeted enforcement

Pennsylvania authorities may have finally started making progress in their fight against the deadly blend. A slate of arrests has been announced over the past 24 hours of people charged with distribution.

Tywon Newby, 39, of Clairton, was found with 2,000 bags of heroin, 48 more bricks of heroin, and more than $8,500 in cash, authorities said.

Other arrests resulted in the seizure of thousands more bags of the lethal mixture, the Pittsburgh Tribune reported.

The arrest of Mr Newby also brought forth a sobering discovery, he had begun labeling the heroin-fentanyl blend ‘sky high.’

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Atomic Cow

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IIRC, fentanyl is one of the most tightly controlled drugs that is available by prescription.

My former's boss' mom was on it near the end of her life (not cancer, severe, debilitating arthritis) and she was using the fentanyl patch.  The house cleaner accidentally threw out the entire package (which my boss found later in the trash, crushed and unusable, but none were missing), and he went through hell getting them to issue an emergency prescription to replace them.  He said he signed more forms for that then he would if he had been buying a machine gun.
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Offline SouthTexas

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If the stuff is 100 times as potent as morphine, why mix it with heroin?  That doesn't make any sense. 

Offline mountaineer

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My mother uses Fentanyl for her debilitating osteoarthritis. It doesn't have any psychotropic effect, except maybe to make her a little sleepy. Unfortunately, it barely makes a dent in her pain.

If you're going to be stupid enough to ingest heroin, you really shouldn't be surprised when the experience turns out to be less than pleasant. (Before I'm accused of being heartless, I'm not saying any of these people deserve to die, just saying it's kind of an "assumption of risk" thing, cf. Philip S. Hoffman).
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Offline Gazoo

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Did not read the entire thing. Could this be why bankers are dead?
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When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

Offline SouthTexas

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(Before I'm accused of being heartless, I'm not saying any of these people deserve to die, just saying it's kind of an "assumption of risk" thing, cf. Philip S. Hoffman).

Heard at lunch that Hoffman's death is being attributed to the mix.

Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Heard at lunch that Hoffman's death is being attributed to the mix.

I attribute it to using an illegal substance .

Buying drugs from a drug dealer to inject into your bloodstream is sort of like juggling loaded handguns with the safety off.

Sooner or later the expected will happen, and the discussion about the caliber of the bullet thst went through your body will seem rather silly in retrospect.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline Chieftain

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My mother uses Fentanyl for her debilitating osteoarthritis. It doesn't have any psychotropic effect, except maybe to make her a little sleepy. Unfortunately, it barely makes a dent in her pain.

If you're going to be stupid enough to ingest heroin, you really shouldn't be surprised when the experience turns out to be less than pleasant. (Before I'm accused of being heartless, I'm not saying any of these people deserve to die, just saying it's kind of an "assumption of risk" thing, cf. Philip S. Hoffman).

When I was under treatment for cancer I was prescribed fentanyl patches; 75 mg dispensed over 3 days.  On days we changed the patch, I didn't know which one of the Jones boys I was.  They weaned me off of fentanyl with diminishing doses of oxycontin and oxycodone, and weaned me off of that with diminishing doses of valium.  Fentanyl gas was what the Russians used a few years ago to end a terrorist hostage situation, by pumping a theater full of fentanyl gas in an effort to put everyone inside to sleep.  Unfortunately, everyone in the building died from the dosage.

Using heroin is bad enough but mixing it with fentanyl is suicide in the making.  When you mainline that mix directly into a vein the rush is so strong and so quick you end up like Hoffman, dead before you can even pull the needle out.  The only good news is that Mr. Hoffman's heroin addiction has been put to a speedy and permanent end.

I feel sorry for his kids.

Offline truth_seeker

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A significant of otherwise righteous, moral, law abiding people get addicted to pain medications.

I suppose if they weren't so stupid, or had more faith, they wouldn't have gotten injured or sick, had surgery, been medicated etc.

Offline alicewonders

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Had a friend that died a couple of years ago from a heroin overdose.  He was a wonderfully big-hearted man that would give you the shirt off his back...but he had these demons. He tried so many times to kick his addiction over the years and for a time it seemed he finally had conquered it.  But it overcame him once again and he got some extremely potent stuff that ended up killing several people in town. 

No matter how much his friends and family loved him, he still had a void in his life that heroin filled, albeit temporarily.  Very sad. 
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Offline olde north church

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A significant of otherwise righteous, moral, law abiding people get addicted to pain medications.

I suppose if they weren't so stupid, or had more faith, they wouldn't have gotten injured or sick, had surgery, been medicated etc.

When it comes to heroin, faith means dick.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline SouthTexas

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I attribute it to using an illegal substance .

Buying drugs from a drug dealer to inject into your bloodstream is sort of like juggling loaded handguns with the safety off.

Sooner or later the expected will happen, and the discussion about the caliber of the bullet thst went through your body will seem rather silly in retrospect.

It's thoroughly expected Luis, sooner or later.

Pick your poison, it's all the same.  A different color powder, a different color drink-there but by the Grace of God...

Offline Luis Gonzalez

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“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline olde north church

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Pithy.

Yeah, I thought so too.  I saw it embroidered on a tea cozy.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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I suppose if they weren't so stupid, or had more faith, they wouldn't have gotten injured or sick, had surgery, been medicated etc.

Etc. as in... addicted to alcohol?   You say you're an active AA member--do you place any faith at all in a higher power? 

Offline Atomic Cow

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Fentanyl gas was what the Russians used a few years ago to end a terrorist hostage situation, by pumping a theater full of fentanyl gas in an effort to put everyone inside to sleep.  Unfortunately, everyone in the building died from the dosage.

Not everyone.  All of the terrorists died, many were simply executed on site by the Russian troops.  140 of the hostages died, about 700 survived.  The error was they miscalculated the dosage and did not have enough of the antidote to give to those suffering adverse reactions.  If it had gone according to plan, the only dead would have been the terrorists.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline EC

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Etc. as in... addicted to alcohol?   You say you're an active AA member--do you place any faith at all in a higher power?

I read it as sarcasm.

truth_seeker knows the downside. Faith helps. Some. Sometimes it's not enough on it's own.

God is always there. Problem is, the demon in your head can often speak louder. And make no mistake, it is a demon.
Anyone who tells you you can't buy happiness has never been in a book store or an animal shelter.

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Offline Chieftain

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Not everyone.  All of the terrorists died, many were simply executed on site by the Russian troops.  140 of the hostages died, about 700 survived.  The error was they miscalculated the dosage and did not have enough of the antidote to give to those suffering adverse reactions.  If it had gone according to plan, the only dead would have been the terrorists.

Right you are and thanks for the clarification...the details have faded a bit...my point was that fentanyl is nothing to mess with....



Offline truth_seeker

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Etc. as in... addicted to alcohol?   You say you're an active AA member--do you place any faith at all in a higher power?
I am an active member of AA. I place very much faith in my Higher Power.

Offline Rapunzel

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Prescription drug additions are bad enough...and way too many are addicted to the class 3 drugs.... but NO ONE forces you to shoot up heroin or snort cocaine... that is a personal choice... a very bad personal choice.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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I said elsewhere I watched the making of Vacation on Bio last night. After this was over they had the making of Caddy Shack.... also interesting, but informative as well.  Seems the entire cast of Caddy Shack spent the majority of the movie shoot stoned, drunk or both.. most said they could barely remember the actual shooting of the movie. It was shortly after Caddy Shack wrapped that Belushi died of his over dose. According to Harold Ramis the Belushi death was a huge wake up call for him and quite a few other actors from Caddy Shack and it led to many of those actors getting their acts together drug-wise.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline truth_seeker

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Prescription drug additions are bad enough...and way too many are addicted to the class 3 drugs.... but NO ONE forces you to shoot up heroin or snort cocaine... that is a personal choice... a very bad personal choice.
So once people have been classified, condemned in a sense, what doe society do about it?

Doctor-shopping for multiple script for narcotic pain meds is just as illegal, just as bad a personal choice, as using heroin.

And it is done by people you would classify as different (probably inferior) from a street drug addict.

I have known priests and pastors, doctors, lawyers, school principals and teachers, nurses, airline pilots, cops, engineers just to name a few professions that unfortunately got themselves addicted to something.

Many have impressive stories of redemption.  The don't ask of expect anything from the "normies" which is jargon for non-addicts non-alcoholics.

Not asking for forgiveness, let alone admiration. But when somebody you are close is at the end of the line, don't be surprised if one of those people tries to help save one of your loved one's lives.

   

Offline Rapunzel

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My brother in law (husband's brother) was addicted to Vicodin. According to his doctor when my husband spoke to him his brother was taking 500 Vicodin a month.  We got him into rehab in Orange County (for the umpteenth time) and he called after two days and said he couldn't do it and was leaving  - and oh, by the way would we give him some money....  he needed surgery on his hips and the doctors would not operate because of his addiction.    So, yes I know a bit about this. I have a nephew who was in rehab multiple times and had a trip on LSD so bad it scared my sister out of her wits.  He "claims" he is off drugs - but then called pot his "medicine" and he drinks and he is his fathers son when he drinks - as in nasty!  And my grandfather was an alcoholic... he was selling off property like it was water for money for alcohol and my grandmother had to divorce him to preserve most of their ranch... so frankly I am 1000% anti drinking, anti pain pills and hard core drugs. 

Frankly I think we all make a decision to drink or do drugs or pretty much everything we do in our lives and I do not understand why people choose to escape from life - our lives are way too short to go through them stoned or drunk or both.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline EC

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Frankly I think we all make a decision to drink or do drugs or pretty much everything we do in our lives and I do not understand why people choose to escape from life - our lives are way too short to go through them stoned or drunk or both.

You know, I don't know. All I know is my story, which is a pretty standard and boring one.

Started drinking in pubs at 13. Under aged drinking is winked at in a lot of pubs, as long as you behave. There isn't much else to do in most of the small towns. Sure, at home I'd have the odd beer or glass of wine with Sunday dinner and with Mom and Dad's permission. It started getting out of hand a bit when I joined up. Nothing to do of an evening but drink and BS or pull night duty. Got even worse in University. I'd wake up Monday morning with no recollection of the weekend at all. So I toned it right down. Couple of beers of an evening, shot of whiskey before bed.
Then it changed. Found myself pouring a shot in the morning, to go with breakfast. Then two shots, which were breakfast. And I have no idea why. I was doing a rather stressful job I was good at, had a family that I love, a wife that loves me solid, despite the odd temper flare up on both are parts. There was, from the outside, no reason for me to need to drink. My mind begged to differ.
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Yeah, I thought so too.  I saw it embroidered on a tea cozy.

  :silly:
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).


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