Heroin is a powerfully addictive opiate that slows down bodily function and organs while acting as a painkiller and producing its high. The drug has been ruining lives for centuries through the acts committed by people addicted to it as well as those lost to overdose.
One of the many problems with heroin and other street drugs is that users don't really know how pure the drugs are or what they're mixed with. A disturbing and deadly trend that has shown up repeatedly in different parts of the country over the past few years has been the presence of fentanyl with heroin.
Fentanyl is another powerful drug that is designed to alleviate pain and is often administered in hospital settings after a serious injury or a surgery. It is many times more potent than heroin and the combination of these two drugs has been traced to hundreds of overdose deaths in multiple states.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been tracking the amount of fentanyl-laced heroin that is responsible for overdoses and deaths. “Drug incidents and overdoses related to fentanyl are occurring at an alarming rate throughout the United States and represent a significant threat to public health and safety,” explained Michele Leonhart, an administrator for the DEA.
In fact, random samples of heroin were taken throughout the country last year and agents found that 3,344 of those samples contained amounts of fentanyl. This is three times the amount found in 2013. The massive increase of fentanyl on the streets has caused some people to question how drug dealers are getting a hold of such powerful narcotics. Experts warn that because there are over six million legitimate fentanyl prescriptions a year that it is likely that some drug dealers are purchasing the drug from people with prescriptions.
In addition to investigating whether some people are selling their fentanyl, agents are aware that labs in Mexico have started recreating the drug in order to sell on the black market. As with any other illicit drug activity, the people who profit from it are only concerned with how much money they're making. If adding a little fentanyl makes their heroin supply go farther to earn more money, they're not at all concerned about the number of deaths it might cause.