02 Jun Black Tar Heroin Gaining Ground
It would stand to reason that drug smugglers and dealers would not want to sell customers a product that can kill swiftly as living customers are much more profitable. According to a recent Google News piece, however, a form of ultra-potent heroin is being pushed for as little as $10 a bag.
This drug is so potent it can kill unsuspecting users instantly; for some it is as swift as stealing life before the syringe is even removed from their veins. This so-called “black-tar” heroin and other forms of the drug are contributing to a spike in overdose deaths across the nation. It is also attracting a new generation of users who are caught off guard by its potency.
"We found people who snorted it lying face-down with the straw lying next to them," said Patrick O’Neil in the Google News. O’Neil is a coroner in suburban Chicago’s Will County, where annual heroin deaths have nearly tripled – from 10 to 29 – since 2006. "It’s so potent that we occasionally find the needle in the arm at the death scene."
There is a concern among authorities that the potency and price of the heroin from Mexico and Colombia could widen the drug’s appeal – as well as increase the number of heroin-related deaths. The black-tar heroin comes in the form of black tar or brown powder and has become popular in rural and suburban areas.
While heroin in the 1970s was generally smuggled from Asia and the Middle East and was roughly 5 percent pure with the remaining filler made up of sugar, starch, powdered milk and even brick dust, the Mexican heroin today is generally 50 percent pure.
In some instances, heroin has been found to be as much as 80 percent pure. This increased potency makes the drug easier to abuse without notice as it can be snorted or smoked to achieve the desired high.
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