Author Topic: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses  (Read 353 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« on: February 16, 2014, 06:44:40 PM »
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/killer-heroin-blamed-fatal-overdoses-n31801

'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses

On an icy night last month, a man entered a grocery store here, walked past the displays of cake mix and paper towels, and went into the bathroom, where he injected himself with heroin.

Hours later, the man was found dead in the bathroom with a needle still in his arm, authorities said. They believe the man was one of more than 80 across the country who have died in recent weeks after injecting heroin laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate.

As the number of people who use, and fatally overdose on, heroin has skyrocketed in recent years, authorities are seeing the return of an alarming development: heroin that, often unbeknownst to the user, is spiked with fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a narcotic that is typically administered to people in chronic pain, including end-stage cancer patients. It is also used as an anesthetic. It is considered 80 times more powerful than morphine and can kill by inhibiting breathing.

"The dealers push this as being a super high, which it is, but it's also lethal," said Ellen Unterwald, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the Temple University School of Medicine. Users typically don't know how much fentanyl is mixed in, and she said just a small amount can be fatal because the drug is so potent.

In Maryland, at least 37 people have died from the combined drugs, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and in western Pennsylvania, authorities said they caused 22 deaths in recent weeks. In Rhode Island, 25 people have died from the laced heroin, and in Vermont state police have warned that pure fentanyl is being sold as heroin.

After Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead with a syringe in his arm this month, investigators in New York tested the heroin found in his apartment for fentanyl, but found that it did not include the additive.

Last month the Drug Enforcement Administration put out a bulletin warning local authorities of what it dubbed "killer heroin," a mixture that was up to half fentanyl. It urged first responders to "exercise extreme caution" when coming into contact with any heroin because Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin.

Heroin dealers put so-called stamps on the bags that hold their product, allowing users to delineate between different batches. Oftentimes they are product logos. Authorities said bags bearing the stamps "Bud Light," "Theraflu" and "Income Tax" have tested positive for fentanyl.
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Offline aligncare

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Re: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 07:57:17 PM »
Perspective.

There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States. This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation.

CDC Fact Sheets

Some drugs kill you slowly.
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Offline Chieftain

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Re: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 08:05:11 PM »
Perspective.

There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States. This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation.

CDC Fact Sheets

Some drugs kill you slowly.


yes, and some, like Heroin, can (and do) kill you the very first time you use it.  It also can (and does) addict you the very first time you use it.

All drugs are not equivalent, and we do not need to beat that dead horse all over again....



Offline aligncare

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Re: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2014, 08:49:34 PM »
yes, and some, like Heroin, can (and do) kill you the very first time you use it.  It also can (and does) addict you the very first time you use it.

All drugs are not equivalent, and we do not need to beat that dead horse all over again....

Not true. Alcohol can (and has) killed the very first time it's used. It also can (and does) addict you the very first time you use it. Never mind the scientific confirmation, ask any alcoholic if alcohol is addictive.

According to the data, death from alcohol use occurs primarily from complications of medical conditions, accidents, violence and abuse, and acute alcohol poisoning. Some of these deaths have occurred to college freshman on their first night of binge drinking.

The number of deaths from heroin overdose pales in comparison to the number of deaths yearly from the legal drug, alcohol. You may find some facts uncomfortable. But, they are still facts.

From the link:

Quote
Immediate Health Risks

Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These immediate effects are most often the result of binge drinking and include the following—

Unintentional injuries, including traffic injuries, falls, drownings, burns, and unintentional firearm injuries.6

Violence, including intimate partner violence and child maltreatment. About 35% of victims report that offenders are under the influence of alcohol.7 Alcohol use is also associated with 2 out of 3 incidents of intimate partner violence.7 Studies have also shown that alcohol is a leading factor in child maltreatment and neglect cases, and is the most frequent substance abused among these parents.8

Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, and increased risk of sexual assault. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.9, 10

Miscarriage and stillbirth among pregnant women, and a combination of physical and mental birth defects among children that last throughout life.11, 12

Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels that suppress the central nervous system and can cause loss of consciousness, low blood pressure and body temperature, coma, respiratory depression, or death.13

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Offline raml

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Re: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 08:56:45 PM »
They both kill and personally I would rather see both very hard to get but that will never happen so legalize drugs too maybe we can watch more druggies die so it can be equal to the deaths of alcohol. What a pathetic argument. They are both bad for you and if you abuse them it kills you so go kill yourself it is no skin off my back make them legal and watch crime even go higher while more people than ever get caught up in that culture and have to rob and steal from us just like the government does.

Offline aligncare

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Re: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 09:18:45 PM »
Did someone make an argument for legalization of heroin? If someone did I must've missed it.
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Offline EC

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Re: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 03:34:37 AM »
Nice timing: http://www.cracked.com/article_21017_5-unexpected-things-i-learned-from-being-heroin-addict.html

Well worth the read.

The personal experience articles are just that. One persons experience, but backed up by fact checking whenever possible.
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Offline aligncare

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Re: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 08:02:46 AM »
Some people struggling with chronic pain can be managed with opioids for months or years without becoming addicted. Others spiral out of control quickly. Rush Limbaugh maybe a public example.

Some people have no problem with champagne or wine a few times a year only at celebrations. Others self medicate daily or weekly without let up.

Substance abuse is complicated. That's why romanticizing or demonizing ultimately fail to get at the problem. That's why stories of killer 'one hit' heroin obscure the real danger of those substances that can and do lull you to death.
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Online mountaineer

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Re: 'Killer Heroin' Blamed in Fatal Overdoses
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 08:41:38 AM »
Quote
On an icy night last month, a man entered a grocery store here, walked past the displays of cake mix and paper towels, and went into the bathroom, where he injected himself with heroin. Hours later, the man was found dead in the bathroom with a needle still in his arm ...
In my area, a guy was caught when he went into a Wendy's restaurant bathroom to inject himself. I guess they can't even wait to get home.
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