Popular Heroin Slang: Terms Heroin Addicts Say While Using

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More and more Americans every day are realizing that the disease of addiction truly knows no bounds. There are no rules or limits on who it will affect– regardless of age, gender, social status, or race, people from all walks of life can become addicted to things like drugs, alcohol, sex, food, or even gambling. Many who develop these addictions can allow them to take over their lives. One of the most addictive drugs out there is heroin. If you suspect someone you know may be addicted to the drug, we will present some popular heroin slang words they may be using to hide their addiction.

An addiction to drugs or alcohol occurs when a person becomes physically and/or psychologically dependent on a substance, such as alcohol or heroin. When an addiction is formed, something that can happen even after just one time of using, the person suffering is unable to stop seeking and using drugs or alcohol because of the chemical changes that happen in the brain once an addiction develops.

The opioid epidemic has sadly made addiction fairly common in the United States.

A recent study found that 1 out of every 7 people will struggle with a substance abuse disorder of some kind throughout the duration of their lives. In recent years however, heroin or opioid abuse has drastically increased. Data collected from 2017 shows that 130 people in the United States die every day from an opioid overdose. In 2016 alone, more than 948,000 Americans tried heroin for the first time, a number that has been on the rise since 2007. It is estimated that nearly 25% of people who try heroin will become addicted, adding to the growing concern of the opioid crisis.

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Many who become addicted to heroin, began with a simple prescription for opioids from their doctor. Addiction is not a moral failing. It is a treatable disease.

If you suspect a loved one might be abusing heroin, there are many signs you can look out for that might indicate they have a problem. Heroin is usually seen as a white or brown powder, but it can appear as a black, sticky substance. Heroin is a very powerful substance when abused, and is similar to morphine, causing many physical symptoms and other signs to appear. These can include:

  • “Track marks” or injection sites
  • Pinhole pupils
  • Skin infections or excessive itching
  • Finding paraphernalia such as needles, burnt spoons, glass pipes, lighters, belts, or rubber tubing
  • Scabs or bruises from picking at the skin
  • Delusions, hallucinations, or paranoia
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness or nodding off at random times throughout the day
  • Decreased attention to personal hygiene
  • Shortness of breath

Of course, these are just a few signs or symptoms to look out for if you suspect a loved one of an addiction to heroin. There may be other warning signs that you may want to look out for. For instance, many addicts develop a type of “slang” language that is meant to conceal drug use from those who may suspect they might have a problem.

The term “slang language” is meant to describe words or phrases that are informal, and whose meaning is only known by a certain group of people. Slang language can be used for many reasons, some groups use it to form a certain identity or, for others, there is a more illicit purpose. As mentioned, many addicts use slang language in order to hide their drug use from others and since heroin is illegal, there are many slang words that have been created to refer to the drug without arousing suspicion.

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Heroin is derived from the poppy plant found in Asia, Mexico and Columbia.

Slang Based Upon the Appearance of Heroin

 

  • Black Pearl
  • Black Sheep
  • Black Tar
  • Brown Crystal
  • Brown Rhine
  • Brown Sugar
  • White Junk
  • White Nurse
  • White Stuff
  • Salt
  • Spider Blue
  • Dirt
  • Diesel
  • Golden Girl
  • Red Chicken

Heroin Slang Based Upon Location Of Origin

 

  • Chinese Red
  • Mexican Horse
  • Mexican Mud

Slang For Low Quality Heroin

 

  • Bad Bundle
  • Crap
  • Crop
  • Flea Powder
  • Garbage
  • Ragweed

 

Slang Terms Based Upon Packaging

 

  • Bag
  • Balloon
  • Bindle
  • Blue Hero
  • Brick Bum
  • Burrito

 

Slang Names Based Off The Word Heroin

 

 

  • Big H
  • H
  • Charlie Horse
  • Galloping Horse
  • Capital H
  • H Caps
  • Heavy
  • Helicopter
  • Hero

Drug death from fentanyl. American opioid crisis

Other Slang or Street Names for Heroin

 

  • A-Bomb
  • Antifreeze
  • Tootsie Roll
  • Smack
  • Ballot
  • Basketball
  • Fairy Duster
  • Life Saver
  • Noise
  • Scag
  • Smack
  • Bozo
  • Bonita
  • Butter
  • Aunt Hazel
  • Beast
  • Hombre
  • Old Steve
  • Henry
  • Helen
  • Hercules
  • Rambo
  • Witch
  • George Smack
  • Dragon
  • Boy
  • Charlie
  • Morena
  • Junk
  • Snow
  • Chiba
  • Chiva
  • Skunk
  • Tar
  • Number 4
  • Number 3
  • Number 8
  • Poison
  • Dog Food
  • Curly Hair
  • Doggy
  • Doogi
  • Hats
  • Heaven Dust
  • P-funk
  • Patty
  • Sweet Jesus
  • Thunder
  • Modela Negra
  • Puppy
  • Pure
  • Raw
  • Sticky Kind
  • Mojo
  • Mole
  • Chinese Food
  • Engines
  • Whiskey
  • Comida
  • Coffee
  • Chorizo
  • Black Paint
  • Black Olives
  • Cardio
  • Cement
  • Coco

 

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Heroin is a particularly dangerous drug that is easy to develop an addiction to.

Slang Terms For Heroin Combined With Other Drugs

 

  • Dynamite, Bellushi, Boy-Girl, Goofball, H&C, He-She, Primo, and Snowball- used to describe heroin mixed with cocaine
  • Primo, Chasing the Dragon, Dragon Rock, Chocolate Rock, Eightball, Moonrock- all terms meant to describe heroin mixed with crack cocaine
  • Screwball- refers to heroin mixed with methamphetamines
  • H Bomb- a mixture of heroin and ecstasy
  • Neon Nod- heroin and LSD (acid)
  • Chocolate Bars- a mixture of heroin and xanax
  • Atom Bombs or A bombs- slang for a combination of heroin and marijuana
  • El Diablo- can be used to refer to heroin by itself, but can also refer to a combination of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana
  • LBJ- refers to heroin mixed with LSD and PCP
  • Cheese- mixture of cold medicine and heroin
  • China White- fentanyl and heroin, a highly dangerous combination
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies- MDMA (ecstasy) and heroin
  • Cotton Brothers or New Jack Swing- mixture of morphine and heroin
  • Meth Speed Ball- Meth (methamphetamine) and Heroin
  • The Five Way- a deadly combination of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, rohypnol, and alcohol

Keep in mind that some slang words may mean something else depending on different factors like location and age, as these have been known to change, but the intending meaning is usually pretty close to the same. This is also not an all-inclusive list, as there are many other names for heroin on the street. We hope that this helps you decide whether or not your loved one may need help with an addiction to heroin.

If you are not sure what steps to take next, then please do not hesitate to reach out to us for help! We have many addiction specialists that can help you figure out the next plan of action if you suspect that a loved one needs help with their substance abuse problem. Or, if you yourself are struggling, then there is no shame in getting help. We know how difficult it can be to get sober, even if you really want to stop using drugs or alcohol. We can help give you the tools necessary for a healthy and sober life!

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877-228-4679

Are Drugs Drying Up During Quarantine?

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All across the globe, people are feeling the effects of Covid-19. Also commonly known as the Coronavirus, Covid-19 has caused widespread panic as the rates of infection continue to grow increasingly higher. This pandemic has caused major disruptions to everyone’s daily way of living, even for drug addicts. As we witness this unprecedented time in history, even the manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs has been affected. Many items, including drugs are drying up during the quarantine.

Many of us have never seen a time in our lives where shelves in grocery stores remain nearly empty as masses of people panic buy items for safekeeping. This virus has also caused economic shut downs, calling for the forced closure of any business deemed non-essential. While the world has slowly tried to return back to normal we are still reminded that this is not over yet. Along with the shutdown of businesses, and the laying off of millions people, has come the restrictions on travel.

Covid-19 has severely impacted day-to-day living.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has not just affected our physical health. Many struggle with mental health issues due to social distancing and fear of these uncertain times.

The coronavirus has caused a number of ramifications on daily life, that are more than surface deep. One issue at the forefront of discussion, at least for some, is the impact it has had on the substance abuse community. Early records indicate that there has been an increased rate of relapse among those in sobriety, this is in part due to unemployment and stimulus money. Seeing as how we are now a few months into this pandemic one may begin to wonder what effect that has had on the drug community in terms of access to their substance of choice?

Drug use has increased, even as the supply of drugs are drying up during the quarantine.

 

While data shows that there has been an increase of drug trade activity, primarily in England, on the dark web, an area of the internet that requires certain knowledge or software in order to access, the majority of the drug trade in the United States has all but dried up. Of course, that is not to say that there is no way to continue getting drugs, because most addicts will find a way. But, for several reasons, the illegal drug trading market has also taken a nose-dive during this time of quarantine and self-isolation.

A major reason why drug dealing has taken a hit is because of a rather obvious reason– the lockdowns that were being enforced across the country. With less and less people going out, drug dealers and buyers who were used to meeting face-to-face somewhere like in the supermarket parking lot would likely be putting themselves more at risk of getting caught as they could easily be seen as most people were at home or otherwise practicing social distancing. Social distancing has also led to a sharp decline in club drugs, such as ecstasy, as people were no longer able to gather together and use drugs to party. This has also led to an increase in pricing, which in turn has also caused some people to stop buying certain drugs on such a frequent basis.

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People often turn to drug use during stressful or unstable times. This has increased dramatically during the coronavirus global pandemic.

The closing of stores also seems to have had a major impact as addicts who made their money by criminal activity, such as pawing stealing items or shoplifting, were now left without a way to make money and support their habit. Without many options to “hustle” or make money to buy these drugs that are being steeply priced, this left many addicts without another option.

As the supply of drugs is drying up, drug street prices have increased.

A major increase in prices across the globe has also become a major concern for those in the illegal drug trade or black market. Many suppliers are being faced with shipment difficulties, causing them to hike up their prices as uncertain availability seems  to loom somewhere in the near distant future. There has been a huge spike in prices for many drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and spice (synthetic marijuana). Additionally, a large number of suppliers in the illegal drug trade operate their business out of China, a known source of the coronavirus outbreak.

Another explanation for why the drug supply in America is drying up is the increased restrictions on United States borders. Due to this, many Mexican drug cartels are suffering as the transportation of illegal drugs across different countries has become more and more difficult. Many dealers became worried about a border shut down and retreated back to their hometowns in Mexico, leaving a huge hole in the local drug trade of many cities.

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As the government cracks down on the illegal drug trade, availability of certain street drugs is decreasing in American cities.

While the drug trade drying up may sound like a good thing to some, and surely it is, but, what many people may not be aware of are the further implications that this has caused on the drug abusing population. As addicts are now having to look for new sources they are also having to adjust to different products whose strength to them is highly unknown. Unfortunately, has led to an increase of drug-related overdoses even though many drugs are not as readily available.

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People with an addiction are finding other, sometimes more dangerous ways to maintain their drug habit.

Another factor to consider in all of this is what happens when an addict is cut off from their drug of choice? Many of them are unable to stop using drugs on their own, and will turn to other substances, such as heroin or alcohol, in order to continue getting high. This can have major ramifications as people are not used to dealing with that certain substance, this issue has also led to an increased number of unwanted overdoses.

There still remains a huge gap in data as far as how exactly the illegal drug trade has suffered, and just how deep it goes exactly, due to the coronavirus. But many addiction specialists and law enforcement agencies agree that, for the most part, there has been a significant decrease in drug availability. Although that seems to be true, there has also been an increase in overdoses, largely related to opioids, along with increased rates of relapse, as this epidemic continues.

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Isolation can be incredibly difficult for an addict, or someone who is in recovery. Reach out for help. It’s never too late to turn your life around!

If you, or someone you know, may be suffering from a substance abuse disorder, especially during these trying times, then we are here to help. We have many trained addiction specialists who are able and ready to help get you back on track to a healthy and fulfilling life of sobriety, even during quarantine.

Do not hesitate to call, we are here 24/7.

(877)-228-4679

Addiction Treatment After Overdose

man lying in bed hospitalized because of drug overdose

It’s difficult for some people to grasp the driving forces of addiction. Upon hearing of someone’s overdose, one might think that an event like that would wake someone up to reality. Ideally, an overdose would be a catalyst for seeking help, assistance in the form of addiction treatment. There are instances when an overdose is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, prompting someone to seek treatment. Sadly, some individuals experience several overdoses before coming to terms with their situation. The realization: Seek recovery or perish from the disease.

In the wake of the opioid addiction epidemic, overdose is on most people’s mind. One doesn’t need to have a history of addiction to understand the gravity of the situation. Efforts to make the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone more available have spared thousands of lives. However, a cure for overdose is not an antidote for addiction.

man lying in bed hospitalized because of drug overdose

When overdose victims are not encouraged and steered toward treatment, history is bound to repeat itself. A new study makes that reality abundantly clear, nearly 10% of revived patients dying within one year of the overdose. Half of them died within one month of being treated with naloxone, Morningstar reports. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). The findings highlight the need for treatment after an overdose revival.

Addiction Treatment Is A Must

Some 140 Americans perish from overdose each day in the United States. Even more people are revived, and such individuals are at the pinnacle of despair. In such a state, one is more likely to see the value of recovery. The problem is that many OD survivors are not connected with addiction treatment professionals at the time. When faced with experiencing days of withdrawal sickness or using again, the latter is almost always the choice.

“Patients who survive opioid overdoses are by no means ‘out of the woods,’” says lead study author Dr. Scott Weiner. “These patients continue to be at high-risk for overdose and should be connected with additional resources such as counseling, treatment and buprenorphine.”

While addiction treatment services exist all around the country, in certain areas accessing help isn’t easy. If people can’t find a bed at a facility or have to wait, they are apt to return to using. More treatment centers are needed in rural America, where high rates of overdose per capita are occurring. The researchers shared a survey at the ACEP meeting, the findings of which were troubling:

“Virtually every emergency physician has seen firsthand the tragedy of opioid addiction,” said Paul Kivela, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP. “The consequences of this epidemic are playing out in the nation’s emergency departments. Almost all the emergency physicians responding to an ACEP poll (87 percent) reported that the number of patients seeking opioids has increased or remained the same. More than half (57 percent) said that detox and rehabilitation facilities were rare or never accessible.”

Breaking the Cycle of Addiction

Without help, the odds of overcoming opioid use disorder on one’s own are slim to none. Addiction treatment works and services should be available to people at the time of an overdose. If you or a loved one experienced an overdose recently, please contact 10 Acre Ranch immediately. We can help break the cycle of addiction and show you how a life in recovery is possible. Picking up the phone or contacting us online is the first step.

Addiction Treatment Funding Cuts

woman taking post-surgery pain medication

In the wake of an opioid addiction epidemic more Americans than ever see the value of use disorder treatment. It doesn’t matter where you come from, the color of your skin, or your socio-economic standing — survival is contingent upon getting help. When people can’t access addiction treatment they remain in a vicious cycle; substance use disorder has the power to cut one’s life short. This is why we need to make sure our los angeles addiction treatment centres are properly funded!

When taking addiction into consideration, it’s easy to think that the problems in the U.S. are unique. It’s an opioid addiction epidemic, after all, not a pandemic. However, alcohol and substance use disorder is a severe problem in other parts of the western world. Many countries face obstacles similar to our own regarding getting people the help they need.

Addiction is deadly. Treating such conditions usually comes at a steep price; a bill that in many cases falls on the Federal and state governments to foot. Logically: Investing money into addiction treatment service saves lives. The data overwhelmingly supports the above conclusion; something that the United Kingdom had to learn the hard way.

Cutting Addiction Treatment Funding

In recent history, countries in the western world have been forced to address opioid use disorder. Again, the U.S. may have the most severe problem with such drugs, but others have been affected as well. While it’s hard to compare our staggering overdose deaths rates to other countries, any number of deaths is not right, and precautions should be taken to mitigate.

The U.K. has witnessed a trend from which we can all learn something — funding addiction treatment is a must. Wherever funding for addiction treatment gets cut, more people die from an overdose in England, The Guardian reports. Areas with heightened mortality rates directly correlate with treatment spending reductions.

In 2016, there were 3,744 overdose deaths compared with 2,640 a decade ago. That may not seem like much when compared to the 64,000 overdose deaths in America U.S. last year. Those were 3,744 mothers and fathers, and they were somebody’s children. Directing the necessary funds toward addiction treatment might have prevented some of those deaths.

“Funding cuts are reducing the ability of drug treatment services to reduce the risk of death among people using heroin,” said Alex Stevens, criminal justice professor at the University of Kent. “The government is fully aware that drug-related deaths are highest in the places with the highest levels of deprivation and that they are cutting budgets the deepest in areas with deepest deprivation.”

Treatment Is Worth the Investment

When it comes to addressing addiction, treatment is the most effective way to prevent future overdose events. Life in recovery is possible, but without help, it is challenging to break the cycle of addiction. The United Kingdom is not alone, here at home public addiction treatment services require much more significant investment than currently exists.

If you or a loved one is in need of addiction treatment, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. Our affordable program is for men who are ready to take specific steps for a better life. We can help make your recovery a reality.

Overdose Death Impacting Life Expectancy

woman suffered from drug overdose

In the 21st Century those of us living in America expect to live robust lives. Far longer than once thought possible, thanks to advances in medicine and a better understanding of healthy living. Fewer Americans smoke cigarettes across most demographics. And when people are diagnosed with certain forms of cancer the prospects for recovery are at times good. While average life expectancy has been steadily increasing over the decades, one variable has been tipping the scale—overdose death. Specifically, opioid overdose death.

It won’t come as a surprise to learn that American’s relationship with opioids has been approaching critical mass. We have steadily seen the number of premature deaths rise to greater heights with each passing year. There were more deaths in 2016 than in 2015, and overdose deaths are expected to surpass last year, in 2017. Overdose death is now the leading cause of premature death in America. And, believe it or not, these deaths are impacting figures on average life expectancy – for the worse.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shed some light on this subject. The researchers found that our life expectancy increased overall, from nearly 77 years to 79 years, between 2000 and 2015. However, the nearly two-decade spate of overdose deaths trimmed that expectancy by 2.5 months, HeathDay reports. Dr. Deborah Dowell from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention points out drug overdoses have more than doubled. With opioid overdose cases, more than tripled during the same time.

Reducing Overdose Death

“[U.S.] life expectancy is now lower than in most high-income countries,” said lead researcher Dowell, noting this as the is first decrease since 1993 at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Studies like these don’t do much to save lives, but they do give society some perspective. With over 50,000 Americans dying from overdose every year, action is desperately needed. Failure to address this epidemic with greater urgency will result in greater death tolls with each subsequent year. Perhaps what is most troubling about all of this is the fact that treatment works, and recovery is possible. Yet, the majority of the more than 2 million opioid use disorder cases are never treated in any way.

What’s worse, doctors are often unable to read the writing on the wall when it comes to their patients. It’s no secret that physicians in the U.S. are only required to have minimal education in addiction and treatment. The majority of doctors are not even licensed to prescribed certain drugs that help opioid addicts strive for recovery. It is one thing to increase access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone. But, if overdose victims are not steered towards recovery, history is bound to repeat itself.

“There is an urgency to this problem,” said Dr. Adam Bisaga, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “The tragedy is, we have medication to treat opioid addiction. But death rates keep going up.”

Opioid Addiction Treatment

It doesn’t matter which form of opioid one uses, prescription painkillers or heroin. The risk of overdose and potential death is clear and present. To make matters worse, these are not easy drugs to abstain from due to the severity of withdrawal. However, as Dr. Bisaga points out, there are a number of meds that can help with withdrawal and treatment process. Dramatically increasing one’s ability to achieve long-term addiction recovery. If you are an adult male who has become dependent on opioids of any kind, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. We can help you find recovery.

Heroin Vaccine Shows Promise for Addiction

heroin spoon syringe

Alcohol and substance use disorders have no known cure. There is not a pill you can take that will rid you of addiction. There are programs that you can work that will enable you to abstain from use for long periods of time without the need of relapse. And if such programs are worked with vigilance and honesty, people can refrain from use for the rest of their lives.

There are, however, drugs that people can take to assist in abstaining from drug and alcohol use. Such as Antabuse, Acamprosate, Naltrexone and Buprenorphine. However, they will only mitigate the risk of a relapse. Antabuse will make alcoholics sick when they drink. Regarding buprenorphine, more commonly known as Suboxone, users are still taking a partial agonist opioid receptor modulator. Which causes euphoria. The point is that these drugs are not intended to cure addiction. They are meant to help people get on the road to recovery. And stay the course.

In the field of addiction medicine, we could easily argue that at no other time in our history has a vaccine for addiction been more needed. People are dying in scores every day of the week from opioid overdoses. Those who seek treatment for opioid use disorder have especially high relapse rates. And there is no indication that the reality we all find ourselves living in today is going to change. At least not anytime soon. Nevertheless, addiction researchers continue to search in earnest for one.

Heroin Vaccine On The Horizon

As we mentioned earlier, relapse rates among opioid addicts are particularly high. Thus, and so, the need to mitigate the risk of relapse without the use of other opioids like Methadone and Suboxone is great. Fortunately, researchers have been working on a vaccine that would block the euphoric feelings caused by opioid use, Live Science reports. By blocking the high, the vaccine will reduce people’s chance of becoming addicted in the first place and prevent those already addicted from relapsing.

“The vaccine sequesters the psychoactive molecules that heroin produces and prevents distribution to the brain,” said study first-author, Paul Bremer, a graduate student at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).”It essentially uses your body’s own natural defense to neutralize the drug.”

Rather than cure addiction, the vaccine mimics part of the heroin molecule, according to the article. Conditioning the immune system to treat heroin molecules as foreign bodies. Disabling heroin’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, and thus preventing the high. Trials on monkeys have proven successful, the next step is clinical trials. If the vaccine works on humans, it could have huge implications for the future of opioid addiction in America. The researchers at TSRI are talking with biotech companies to develop a human clinical trial.

“I hope the vaccine will be useful in conjunction with other drugs,” said study leader Kim Janda, a chemistry professor at TSRI. “While there are treatments out there already, I think we need to look at other ways of fighting this problem. This could be another piece of the puzzle.”

Opioid Addiction Treatment

It will be some time before opioid users can rely on any vaccine. In the meantime, addiction treatment is the only real course of action for those whose lives have been turned upside down from opioid use. If you are an adult male who’s addicted to opioids, please contact 10 Acre Ranch today. Our center has helped a significant number of people with opioid use disorder break the cycle of addiction, and begin the life-saving journey of recovery.

Opioid Addiction Epidemic Apologia

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We have written about opioid use in the past, and for good reason. We are in the grips of a serious epidemic linked to reckless overprescribing of opioid painkillers, like OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). Just two painkillers of several that have had a hand in cutting short the lives of Americans from every demographic.

Our reliance on opioid painkillers is a complex story, and like most interesting stories worth reading about, this one is filled with some unsavory characters, both individuals and entire companies, as well as deceit. With well over 2 million prescription opioid addicts and upwards of a half-a-million heroin users, there is definitely cause for concern and a demand for accountability in this narrative. But first, let’s go back to where America’s reliance on opioids began.

The Roots of Our Addiction Epidemic

If you are like most Americans, including many who work in the field of addiction medicine, then you are probably wondering how this epidemic began. You are likely aware that drugs like morphine and heroin have been around for a long time. What’s more, you know that people have been abusing drugs in the opioid family for a very long time, but you may be saying to yourself that what we are seeing today is a far cry from abuse seen in the past.

American doctors were directly responsible for prescribing opioid painkillers for all things pain. But that was not always the case. Two scores ago, American doctors were hesitant to prescribe opioids to patients, except in cases of trauma, surgery or cancer. Then one day, seemingly, caution was thrown out the window by most doctors. Leading to Americans consuming the clear majority of all prescription opioids on the planet. When tracing the path to where the change originated, look no further than the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Often considered the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal.

In 1980, when the nation was in the grips of a cocaine epidemic, few people were thinking about opioid use disorder. So, when Dr. Hershel Jick, a drug specialist at Boston University Medical Center—at that time a graduate student—sent a letter to the NEJM about prescription opioids most people did not think much of it. The Journal chose to publish the letter, a paragraph worth of words that would result (over time) in a staggering death toll and troubling opioid addiction rates. The drug specialist said this week:

“I’m essentially mortified that that letter to the editor was used as an excuse to do what these drug companies did,” Jick told The Associated Press. “They used this letter to spread the word that these drugs were not very addictive.”

Publishing Deadly Words Leads to Clarification

Dr. Jick wrote that out of almost 40,000 patients given prescription opioids at a hospital in Boston, only four cases of addiction were documented, CBS News reports. The letter said that it was rare for people who had no history of addiction to become dependent on opioids. Doctors, for whatever reason, took those words as absolute fact. And pharmaceutical companies with bottom lines in mind, helped disseminate the letter. Now, four decades later, here we find ourselves.

A team of researchers in Canada conducted an analysis, and found that the letter has been cited more than 600 times, according to the article. In many cases, people citing the letter failed to mention that the patients referred to in the letter were hospital patients, not outpatient or people being treated for chronic pain taking prescriptions home.

“It’s difficult to overstate the role of this letter,” said Dr. David Juurlink of the University of Toronto, who led the study. “It was the key bit of literature that helped the opiate manufacturers convince front-line doctors that addiction is not a concern.”

Finally, 40 years later, and realizing the damage that publishing Jick’s letter had on the American public and generations to come, the NEJM published an editor’s note this week, the article reports. The note states:

“For reasons of public health, readers should be aware that this letter has been ‘heavily and uncritically cited’ as evidence that addiction is rare with opioid therapy,” writes Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, the Journal’s top-editor. “People have used the letter to suggest that you’re not going to get addicted to opioids if you get them in a hospital setting. We know that not to be true.”

Treating Opioid Addiction

If you are abusing prescription opioids and/or heroin, please contact 10 Acre Ranch, today. Time is of the essence, we do not need to tell the risks of prolonging treatment any longer. Roughly a hundred people die of an overdose every day.

Methamphetamine Related Overdose Deaths

Methamphetamine also known as crystal meth

Opioid overdose deaths are common. The family of drugs associated with the ever-rising death rates, causes severe respiratory depression. Simply put, a dose that is a little bit too much can cause individuals to stop breathing. Without intervention by way of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, there is a high likelihood of death.

The health care system in America has been put, arguably, to its greatest test in modern times. Hospitals emergency departments have been increasingly bogged down in the last two decades due to opioid use disorder and all that can come with it. Anything from potentially deadly infections, blood-transmitted disease and overdoses. One could say that all other health problems related to other types of drugs had become an afterthought. After all, you don’t hear much in the news these days about stimulants.

However, make no mistake about it, cocaine and methamphetamine while not typically associated with overdose, have not gone anywhere. Kilogram after kilogram of stimulant narcotics makes its way into the United States via the southern border. Trafficked by Mexican drug cartels whose ability to operate with relative impunity is very real. In Mexico can be found huge super laboratories manufacturing methamphetamine on a scale never seen before. The days of Americans buying all the Sudafed available in local pharmacies to make the drug in clandestine labs are seemingly behind us, due to government crackdowns. But in Mexico, the meth manufacturing business is booming.

Methamphetamine Is Still a Threat

A number of states have seen a resurgence in meth use, and federal officials fear that the problem is only going to get worse, KTOO Public Media reports. More and more people are using the drug, and many of them are dying from it. Not just the slow death of addiction, people are overdosing on the stimulant in Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma to Montana, Wisconsin and Minnesota and beyond.

“The beginning of the opioid epidemic was 2000 and we thought it was just localized,” said Kimberly Johnson, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “Now we know that drug outbreaks aren’t likely to stay localized so we can start addressing them sooner and letting other states know of the potential for it spreading.”

Meth Overdose

When most people think of the ugly side effects of meth use, they typically envision weathered looking individuals with bad skin and rotting teeth. This the result of the caustic chemical used to make the drug in inexpensive ways. Beneath the surface, methamphetamine addicts suffer from heart and kidney failure, according to the article. To be sure, the chance of an overdose from opioids is much greater than meth. Yet, people do, in fact, fatally overdose on methamphetamine.

Here are some numbers to consider. Around 3,700 Americans died of a meth-related overdose in 2014, more than double the number of deaths in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If 3,700 deaths were not alarming enough, nearly 4,900 meth users died of an overdose in 2015, an increase of 30 percent.

Treating Stimulant Addiction

Are you struggling with meth addiction, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. We have helped a significant number of people break the cycle of meth addiction and go on to live a rewarding life in recovery.

Fentanyl and Carfentanil Taking Lives

Book with fentanyl and test tubes

It would seem that we all live in an era where the drugs of our parents’ generation do not hold the same appeal. That is not to say that people no longer use cocaine, marijuana, speed and heroin (especially heroin); but rather, that the environment has changed dramatically and we live in a time when synthetic drugs are seemingly the biggest threat—at least with respect to posterity. Over the last decade, give or take, the media has flooded America with horror story after horror story, centered on synthetic analogs that are literally killing people.

First, it is important to make clear that the greatest problem regarding drug use today is centered around the American opioid addiction epidemic. A crisis of epic proportions that arose from what can only be called reckless overprescribing of prescription opioid painkillers. For nearly two decades both individual states and the Federal government have been reeling to find a way to reign in the scourge of opioid addiction that resulted from prescribing opioids for all things considered painful, whether that be a stubbed toe or back pain.

What started with pills prescribed legally, morphed into an even greater problem when crackdowns made it harder for already addicted Americans to acquire painkillers from a doctor. Such people did what any addict would do, looked to the black market for relief. A marketplace with zero-oversight and few concerns about patient wellbeing. Many pill abusers found that they could save money and actually achieve a greater high by making the switch to heroin. Thinking that prescription painkillers and heroin were both opioids, what’s the difference? The answer to which is, a lot!

Opioid Mystery Bags

Is it true that people die every day from prescription opioid overdoses? Yes. However, many of the overdose deaths today are the result of using heroin, and it isn’t just the heroin that is killing people. But rather what is mixed into the heroin, unbeknownst to users, in order to boost potency. For a number of years now, people have been dying of overdoses on heroin that is mixed with an extremely powerful synthetic opioid narcotic. One that is often resistant to the life-saving effects of the overdose reversal drug naloxone—sold under the brand name Narcan.

You may already have guessed that the synthetic being referred to is fentanyl. A drug commonly used in hospital settings for surgery and traumatic injuries which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The ingredients to make fentanyl can be acquired with relative ease from Chinese laboratories, and shipped overseas to cartels in Mexico. From there, the drug which causes severe respiratory depression is either stamped into pills disguised as other drugs (i.e. OxyContin) or it is mixed in with batches of heroin. Either way, by the time the fentanyl reaches people with opioid use disorder in the U.S., there is little way of knowing what is being consumed.

To make matters even worse, there are stronger analgesics also finding their way into the hands of American drug addicts, once again without their knowledge of the drugs’ presence. Interestingly, the more powerful drugs are analogs of fentanyl, but were never intended for human use.

Gray Death: A Fentanyl Admixture

In Alabama, Georgia and Ohio there has been a spate of deaths linked to dangerous opioid admixture, fittingly referred to as “Gray Death.” It was given the moniker because it looks like concrete mix, and causes overdose, the Associated Press reports. It is usually a mixture of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil — an analog of fentanyl 10,000 times more potent than morphine, often used to tranquilize large animals like elephants. Sometimes another obscure synthetic opioid called U-47700, which has been associated with dozens of deaths, is added to the bags.

“Gray death is one of the scariest combinations that I have ever seen in nearly 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis,” Deneen Kilcrease, manager of the chemistry section at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

If you are actively abusing opioids, these combinations of drugs should be cause for concern. Around one hundred people die every day in this country just from abusing heroin on its own and prescription opioids. If you add something that includes elephant tranquilizers into the mix, then the stakes suddenly get much higher. If you think that you are buying heroin, there is no way of knowing until it’s too late. If you think that just because a pill has an OC stamped on the side and it is therefore OxyContin, it could in fact be something entirely different.

At 10 Acre Ranch, we strongly encourage you to consider reaching out for help. Entering substance use disorder treatment will end the risk of a fatal overdose and prevent the often slow death of active addiction. We can help you break the cycle and show you how to live a fulfilling life in recovery. Please contact us today.