Finding completely pure heroin is a statistical improbability. The heroin sold by the neighborhood dealer is nothing more than street cut heroin, which makes their profit margins bigger. While heroin in pure form is what most heroin addicts strive to buy, most often it is cut with other additives that include everything from powdered milk and starch to poisons such as quinine or strychnine, to name only a few.
The Problem with Low Heroin Purity
The issue of high concern is that rarely do users know the strength or purity of the heroin they are purchasing. Even if you previously purchased the same amount from the same person, it could be more or less cut street heroin. Since most users do not know the strength of the heroin they are using, it puts them in even greater danger of a heroin overdose. For others, the risk is in working to find the heroin they need and then realizing after they take it that it was too heavily cut, causing them to experience heroin withdrawal symptoms quickly after using the drug and needing more to “get well.”
The Problem With Agents For Cutting Heroin With
Another issue is what the heroin is cut with. In heroin confiscated by law enforcement, a long list of poisons and household items have been found as cutting agents. Though some are innocuous, others are poisons meant to increase the effectiveness of heroin. Unfortunately, these cutting agents come with a slew of problems of their own. For example, regular ingestion can worsen the health effects associated with heroin use and abuse and cause their own problems with liver and kidney failure or infections.
The Purity of Heroin and Fentanyl
Fentanyl is an opioid pain killer used in the medical field as an anesthesia in the operating room, or for intense chronic pain (such as from radiation treatment) that doesn’t respond to morphine. Mixing heroin with Fentanyl creates the potential for immediate respiratory failure.
A huge epidemic in this country, the issue of Fentanyl-laced heroin caused problems across America. In fact, the issue became so severe that emergency rooms were swamped, and paramedics ran low on naloxone, the drug used to counteract an overdose and restore a victim’s breathing. Uniformed police officers were posted on known drug corners as a deterrent to send buyers away. Substance abuse centers put out a special call to help addicts steer clear of the dangerous new designer drug invading the neighborhood.
Treatment for Heroin Addiction
As scientists try to discover new methods of determining purity of heroin on the street, the risks of using cut heroin remain, including increased illness, infection, overdose, coma and death. Getting treatment and breaking away from addiction to heroin is the only way to effectively avoid complications and health problems due to the cutting agents used in heroin.