A Better Relationship for Valentine’s Day

A Better Relationship for Valentine’s Day

Heroin: Why The Next Needle Or Snort Might Kill You

Vicki Alexander

Since 1920, when Congress enacted the Dangerous Drug Act that made heroin illegal in this country, people have sought the drug through undercover venues. Buying heroin through street-level dealers, users take the risk of ingesting unknown substances used to stretch the supply and make more money for each person who handled it. Users also take the risk of ingesting heroin at various levels of purity. In 2013, 8,000 people died from heroin overdoses because of lethal additives or dangerously pure batches of the drug. That's a fourfold increase over the past decade and, according to a CNN article, a 39% increase from 2012.

If you are using heroin, it's possible the next needle--or snort--might kill you. There's no better time than now to seek treatment at a recovery center.

Alarming additive

Right now, the most dangerous substance being used to cut heroin supplies is a drug called fentanyl. Fentanyl, like heroin, is also an opioid, but it is 30-50 times more potent than heroin. Deaths from fentanyl-laced heroin have become such an alarming trend that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an alert about the situation. The DEA reports seizures of illegal drugs that contained fentanyl tripled from 2013 to 2014, and the National Forensic Laboratory Information System received 3,344 submissions of fentanyl in 2014 compared to just 942 in 2013.

What will fentanyl do if you ingest it with your heroin? Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fainting. Warning signs of overdose include:

  • seizures
  • clammy skin
  • difficulty awakening
  • slowed heart rate
  • respiratory reduction

Fentanyl works by depressing the central nervous system, so when you ingest even a small amount along with heroin, also a CNS depressant, the effects increase exponentially. Your heart rate and breathing can stop--quickly.

Pure potency

Because heroin is so often cut with other substances to stretch the supply, users never truly know what they are getting when they buy a bag. Batches of the drug can vary widely, even if the user goes to the same dealer all the time. However, sometimes an especially pure batch may end up on the street that can be lethal to users who are unaware of its potency.

That means on any given day, you can inject the same amount you usually do and end up dead. For instance, five years ago Mexican suppliers took the reins from those in Asia and the Middle East, flooding the country with heroin that was 50-80% pure rather than the five percent to which users were accustomed. The heroin was so potent that many users were dying with needles still in their arms or straws still up their noses.

Detox discomfort

Entering a drug rehab program is the best choice you can make if you have been using heroin. Withdrawal from heroin is not comfortable, but seven to ten days of discomfort is preferred to death. You can expect the following symptoms during detox:

  • intense cravings
  • aches and pains
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • restlessness

The withdrawal period has been likened to a bad case of the flu. You've been through the flu--you can make it through detox. Along with supportive measures from the staff, you will also receive counseling, attend NA meetings, and meet with a doctor. Then, aftercare planning will help you prepare for life without heroin.

If heroin has a hold on you, you take your life into your hands every time you take another hit. The next bag you buy may be either unusually pure or cut with a lethal dose of fentanyl. Do you really want to take the chance of being the next person found dead with a needle in the arm? Why play Russian roulette with your life one more day? Call and make an intake appointment at a recovery center in your area. Yes, the detox will be difficult--but it won't kill you. In fact, after completing treatment you will have your life back. You can discover more here.


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A Better Relationship for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year. My husband and I always shower each other with gifts and affection at this time. But, for some couples, this special day is another sad reminder of their unhappy relationships. If you and your spouse have hit a rough patch in your marriage recently, why not take Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to invest in your relationship? You can accomplish this task by visiting a local reputable marriage counselor. This professional can work with the two of you on communication skills, division of household chores, issues of forgiveness, and many other problems. On this blog, you will discover how to utilize a counselor this Valentine’s Day.