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Why Is Heroin Cut With Fentanyl?

Kim Stary

Kim became an RN in 2007 and spent much of her career working as a nurse in the Emergency Department. She has also worked in the PACU, PreOp, OR, and over the last four years of her career, has worked as a Nursing Supervisor for two different mental health and substance abuse facilities in the area. Prior to becoming a nurse, Kim worked as a health teacher and basketball coach in a high school, in radio sales, and in the business office of a radio station in Madison, WI.

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Heroin is a dangerous drug that has become more and more popular in recent years. While the use of this opiate is already highly addictive and can cause serious health issues, it’s often cut with something even more deadly: fentanyl. 

Fentanyl is an opioid that has been linked to many overdose deaths in the United States and other countries around the world. We’ll explore why heroin is cut with fentanyl, how dangerous it is, and what you can do to protect yourself or a loved one from its dangers.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a schedule II prescription drug, and is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. However, because of its high potency and potential for abuse, fentanyl has also become a popular drug of abuse in recent years. When misused, fentanyl can lead to overdose and death.

The term “fentanyl” can also be used to describe a number of different synthetic opioids that are similar to, but more potent than, morphine. Fentanyl is often added to heroin to increase its potency, or cut with other drugs to increase profit margins. However, because fentanyl is so potent, even a small amount can be deadly.

And this is part of the problem: when attempting to take drugs the user thinks is one thing, say, heroin or Vidocin, users often get fentanyl instead or other drugs mixed with fentanyl. Users often don’t know they’re taking it. Because of its potency, it can result in overdose. 

Why Might Heroin Be Cut With Fentanyl?

Why is heroin cut with fentanyl? There are a few reasons. First, because fentanyl is so potent, just a small amount can have a big effect. This makes it easier to smuggle smaller quantities of the drug, which increases profits for dealers. Second, mixing fentanyl with heroin can make the effects of the heroin stronger and more addictive. Finally, because fentanyl is cheaper than heroin, dealers can cut their costs while still selling a product that appears to be high-quality heroin.

These are also all reasons why the drug appears to be more deadly.

When fentanyl is added to heroin, it is usually in the form of a white powder. The two are often indistinguishable. The powder is then mixed with the heroin and sold as a diluted version of the drug. However, because fentanyl is so potent, even a tiny amount can be lethal. In fact, just two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal for an average-sized adult. This means that when fentanyl is cut with heroin, there is a very real risk that users could overdose on the drug.

Because of this danger, many users don’t even know that their heroin has been cut with fentanyl until it’s too late. In some cases, dealers will mix fentanyl with heroin without telling the user, increasing the chances of an overdose.

If you or someone you know is using heroin, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of fentanyl-laced heroin. If you suspect that your heroin has been cut with fentanyl, don’t use it – call 911 immediately. NARCAN can be used to reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose as well.  

There are a few signs and symptoms to be aware of if you think someone has overdosed on fentanyl. They include:

  • Slow or stopped breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

And more importantly there is help for getting off of drugs like heroin and fentanyl. You don’t have to go it alone.

How To Get Help For A Fentanyl Addiction

If you or someone you know is addicted to fentanyl, there are many resources available to help. Here are some ways to get help:

Talk to a doctor or other medical professional. They can help you understand your addiction and come up with a plan to treat it.

Reach out to a support group. There are many organizations that offer help and support for people with addiction.

Get involved in therapy. This can be an individual or group therapy, and it can help you work through the underlying issues that contribute to your addiction.

Make lifestyle changes. Exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. These things will help your body recover from the effects of addiction and make it easier to resist temptation.

Contact A treatment center. Treatment centers like ours have full, wrap around services for users to detox, get, and stay sober. Treatment centers are likely the best choice because they offer all of the things mentioned above in one place. 

Call Now To Get Help Today For A Heroin Or Fentanyl Addiction 

While these drugs are dangerous, there is hope for those who are addicted to them. Addiction is a disease, a very treatable one, and becoming addicted to these substances is not a life sentence. 
If you are worried about you or someone you know, and you think there might be a drug problem, give us a call at 727-591-4119 and we can help discuss treatment options to get you and your loved ones off of heroin or fentanyl for good. Call now before it’s too late.

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