Dangers of Heroin Laced with Fentanyl

Struggling with a heroin addiction is difficult on a number of levels. The toll that long-term opioid abuse can have on a person’s vital organs is well documented.

From debilitating heart infections to the potential of total respiratory failure, living with a heroin addiction is akin to playing a non-stop game of Russian roulette. Add to that the manner in which heroin addiction and severe depression symptoms co-occur and it’s no wonder the opioid addiction has ravaged this country for over a decade.

That’s why the influx of heroin that has been laced with fentanyl is a such a terrifying reality for many people struggling with a heroin use disorder. As if the presence of a heroin addiction weren’t frightening enough, the added threat of ingesting a substance that is 50 times stronger than heroin puts a heroin user in a position of constant danger of a fatal overdose.

It is imperative to understand the factual dangers of fentanyl and how it’s increasing regularity in heroin is impacting the opioid epidemic around the country.

What is Fentanyl?

According to the CDC, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is typically used to treat advanced cancer pain. It is roughly 100 times more potent than morphine, and 5o times more potent than heroin.

It is one of the most powerful opioid pain relievers in the US and works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, increasing dopamine in the central nervous system. This increase in dopamine produces a state of relaxation and decreases the perception of suffering while promoting a feeling of general euphoria within the user.

It is typically delivered through transdermal patches or lozenges, and while it is considered safe and effective when used and monitored in a medical setting, it carries a high abuse potential because of its chemical similarity to heroin.

What is Fentanyl-Laced Heroin?

While the dangers of prescription fentanyl are obvious, the rise of illicitly manufactured fentanyl has been identified as the primary catalyst behind the rise in opioid overdoses and deaths in the United States.

Overdose fatalities involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl have increased nearly 50% from 2016 to 2017, totaling over 28,000 deaths.

This has been attributed to illegally processed fentanyl being combined with black market heroin, creating a more addictive substance that is terrifyingly more deadly than heroin by itself.

This is due to the fact that the illegally manufactured fentanyl that is processed and mixed with heroin has been shown to be hundreds of times more potent than street heroin and, therefore, more likely to induce significantly higher rates of respiratory depression.1

The Dangers of Heroin and Fentanyl

Many drug dealers are turning to this illicit practice of mixing heroin with fentanyl because it enables them to sell more product and make more profit. The dangers of ingesting heroin laced fentanyl is directly tied to the increased potency of fentanyl, as opposed to street heroin, and the unreliability of black-market street drugs.

It’s not like going to the local CVS to purchase a prescription drug with specific instructions and governmental oversight.

Buying heroin that is potentially mixed with fentanyl is filled with dangers, since the product was most likely created in an illegally established laboratory and mixed by someone with no training or medical knowledge whatsoever.

That is why the national rate of synthetic opioid overdoses more than tripled from 2013 to 2015.

Over that time period, data from the DEA National Forensic Laboratory Information System indicated that the incorporation and widespread introduction of fentanyl into street heroin became increasingly popular and spread through the country like wildfire.2

What You Need to Know About Heroin Laced Fentanyl

Understanding the dangers of heroin that is laced with fentanyl, and the manner in which it can affect your body, is essential to avoiding a potential overdose. While the telltale signs of a fentanyl overdose are nearly identical to a heroin overdose, the amount of fentanyl needed to induce a deadly reaction is significantly lower than heroin alone.

Some of these warning signs include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Inability to talk
  • Trouble walking
  • Confusion

Other important points to remember about the dangers of potential fentanyl ingestion
include:

  • Illegal fentanyl is being mixed with other drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and MDMA. This is especially dangerous because people are often unaware that fentanyl has been added.
  • The high potency of fentanyl greatly increases risk of overdose, especially if a person who uses drugs is unaware that a powder or pill contains it. They can underestimate the dose of opioids they are taking, resulting in overdose.
  • Naloxone is a medicine that can be given to a person to reverse a fentanyl overdose. Multiple naloxone doses might be necessary because of fentanyl’s potency.3

With all of these warning signs and the documented dangers of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, it is safe to say that any level of heroin addiction is a dangerous and potentially deadly disease.

It is imperative to seek out professional treatment as soon as possible to address your heroin addiction and avoid becoming one of the statistics lost to the opioid epidemic.

Holistic Heroin Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Overcoming a heroin addiction is no simple task, but with the right treatment facility and clinical staff, recovery is possible. Regardless of where your heroin addiction has landed you, you can stop your addiction and get your entire life back on track.

Don’t let heroin claim your life or hurt those you love the most any longer. There is life-changing support and a sober future ahead of you. At Ranch Creek Recovery, your precise recovery needs are our main priority; your successful recovery and sober re-entry into society is our utmost mission.

At our non-12 step rehab and holistic recovery center, our heroin abuse treatment program delivers all-
encompassing methodologies of medical and physical treatment, psychology, holistic and experiential
therapies, and preparation to forge the drug free future you desire.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Resources:

1 Medical News Today. Everything you need to know about fentanyl. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308156.php

2 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription Behavior Surveillance System (PBSS). Accessed October 19, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/pbss/PBSS-Report-072017.pdf

3 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Fentanyl. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/fentanyl.html

Fentanyl in California

Facts About Fentanyl in Murietta, CA that You Need to Know

For over a decade, the US has been struggling with an opioid epidemic that has ravaged communities and caused a significant influx in overdose incidents and drug-related deaths all over the country.

While the reasoning behind this substantial increase in opioid-related health issues has been tied to a number of causes – including laxed prescription regulations, inattentive prescribing physicians, lack of community-based services and overall poor planning by a number of communities – the results have been universal: rampant addiction and largescale overdose deaths all around the nation.

Then, as if the opioid crisis itself weren’t severe enough, instances of fentanyl use, abuse and death have started to rise throughout the country, including in California.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 30 to 50 times more potent then heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Due to this increased potency, those already struggling with addiction and exposed to the substance found themselves dealing with unexpected overdose symptoms and overdose deaths because of the strength of the substance.

While these serious health consequences and overdose issues were spreading like wildfire around the nation, California managed to initially stay ahead of the curve, avoiding the largescale health issues and overdose deaths seen everywhere else around the country.

This initial success was attributed to forward thinking treatment providers and increased access to Medicaid for low-income adults around the state.

These proactive approaches and preemptive initiatives enabled first responders and drug users themselves to have increased access to life-saving Narcan, drug test strips to test the substances they were abusing and clinical outreach programs. This all helped to encourage those struggling with addiction to better understand the substances they were putting into their bodies before those substances took effect and killed them.

This approach allowed California to achieve a level of success that no other state had experienced. Unfortunately, California eventually succumbed to the fentanyl crisis, fueling the ongoing opioid epidemic.

The Use of Fentanyl in California is Now its Own Epidemic

The use of fentanyl within the state of California was initially embraced by those abusing drugs as a means of avoiding withdrawal symptoms and dope-sickness through a more cost-effective method of substance use.

By keeping their fentanyl use public, those abusing drugs could purchase the substance willingly and adjust the amount they consumed in order to avoid overdose issues.

However, since the black market is not monitored by the FDA, and illegal drug use is a constant gamble with one’s health and safety, the tide eventually turned, and fentanyl use began to become more commonly connected to overdose incidents and deaths around the state.

By 2016, fentanyl had become the most commonly used drug involved in overdoses, and between 2011 to 2017, fentanyl related deaths quadrupled within the state. This was largely due to the fact that drug dealers began mixing the substance into a wider variety of illegal drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine, while also making it more common to press fentanyl into pill mixes throughout the state.

This increased use resulted in greater exposed to the substance, both knowingly and unknowingly, driving the number of overdose incidents up and causing the number of overdose deaths to surge.

Fentanyl Overdoses and Deaths in California

The number of overdoses related to fentanyl has recently expanded to epidemic proportions within the state. In 2017, there were over 3,000 incidents attributed to opioid overdoses, excluding heroin. While the total number of overdose incidents is historically difficult to pinpoint exactly, it is evident that the increase in fentanyl use within the state is rapidly expanding out of control.

This is made clear with the surge in Fentanyl-related deaths over the last 5 years across the state. From approximately 100 Fentanyl-related deaths in 2014 to nearly 450 in 2017, the uptick in Fentanyl overdose deaths has exploded within California with no signs of slowing.

Murietta, CA Fentanyl Statistics

Looking into Riverside country alone, the total number of overdose deaths was nearly 150 within 2017. Of those, nearly 20 were directly attributed to fentanyl.

Considering the size of the county in relation to the state, it is evident that the opioid and fentanyl epidemic has reached California and is expanding at an alarming rate within smaller counties around the state, such as within Murietta.

With the increasing number of Fentanyl users and overdose deaths within the state, it is imperative to continue implementing the current initiatives while also encouraging the expansion of clinically qualified treatment options.

The only way to effectively combat a disease is through clinical interventions aimed at addressing the issue and services trained to support those struggling with the disorder. Treating a substance use disorder requires more than medication.

It takes qualified clinical staff who are trained to help patients overcome their addictive patterns and a safe therapeutic environment to treat them in. Finding a facility like this is the first step in helping your loved one start their recovery journey and begin their path back toward health and happiness.

Life-Changing, Holistic Opioid Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

It is our firm belief at Ranch Creek Recovery that those suffering from addiction can recover from their disease and rebuild abstinent, productive lives. If you have a loved one who is in the grips of an opioid addiction, there is help.

We address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with your loved one to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help them feel confident and ready to enter their new, sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including our opioid detox and rehab program.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.