What Is Heroin Most Commonly Cut With?
Heroin is a highly addictive, powerful illicit opiate that is derived from Morphine. Morphine is a naturally occurring substance that comes from the seed pod of certain poppy plants. Heroin is a Schedule I drug according to the DEA, which means it is illegal and has no legal medicinal use.
Pure heroin is a white powder that comes from South America and sometimes Southeast Asia. “Black tar” heroin, which is sticky like tar or hard like black coal, comes from Mexico. The black tar heroin is impure heroin made by crude processing methods.
What Is Heroin Cut With?
Heroin is usually sold as a white or brownish powder that is often cut with a variety of different substances. Drug dealers will add other drugs or substances to stretch the drug out and make more money. This practice is so common that the chances of getting pure heroin off the streets are very unlikely.
Most recently heroin has also been cut with another powerful synthetic opioid called fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and the smallest amount could cause a person to overdose or cause an overdose death.
Fentanyl is commonly used these days as an adulterant because it increases the effect of the heroin and also it weighs considerably less than heroin and therefore is easier to smuggle into the country.
There are countless cutting agents that dealers use to maximize profits and many can be harmful to your health. Unfortunately, dealers don’t care about the well-being of the people they sell their drugs to, they just want them to come back for more. Some of the most common substances used to cut heroin that we’ve seen and heard of are:
- Rat poison
- Powdered Milk
- Laundry detergent
- Talcum powder
- Baking soda
- Crush OTC painkillers
Most recently heroin has also been cut with another powerful synthetic opioid called fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and the smallest amount could cause a person to overdose or cause an overdose death. Fentanyl is commonly used these days as an adulterant because it increases the effect of the heroin and also it weighs considerably less than heroin and therefore is easier to smuggle into the country. There are also other drugs that addicts mix with heroin including crack and these could have dangerous side effects.
Overdoses Because of Cut and Laced Heroin
Our country is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Overdose and overdose deaths continue to rise and a lot of these overdoses have been caused by heroin that has been cut with the powerful drug fentanyl. Individuals will purchase heroin off of the street, and they unknowingly are getting heroin laced with fentanyl.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention talks about the link between opioid and heroin overdoses and fentanyl.
Most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl. It is sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product—with or without the user’s knowledge—to increase its euphoric effects. Rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl, increased 10% from 2017 to 2018. Over 31,000 people died from overdoses involving synthetic opioids (other than methadone) in 2018. (CDC)
Opioid overdose causes severe depression of the respiratory system and other important body functions; opioids depress the entire central nervous system. Some of the symptoms of a heroin or opioid overdose can include disorientation, slow shallow breathing to no breathing, snoring or gurgling sounds, unconsciousness, floppy arms and legs, no response to stimuli, and/or blue lips or fingernails.
If you suspect someone is or could be overdosing from heroin, call 911 immediately. Most people can be saved from an opioid overdose with quick medical intervention.
Evidence-Based Treatment for Heroin Addiction
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