A Dangerous New Form Of Heroin Is Spreading Across America

heroinHealth officials have declared a public health crisis in Pittsburgh after a deadly type of heroin killed 17 people in one week, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s the latest example of a trend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans about in August — heroin spiked with the powerful painkiller acetyl fentanyl, which has been responsible for a spate of overdoses across the U.S. in the past year. This isn’t the first time fentanyl has shown up in heroin sold on the streets of the U.S. — back in 2006, for example, police in Chicago noticed that dozens of recent overdoses were caused by heroin laced with the drug — but it does appear that this specific derivative of fentanyl is particularly dangerous and new to the market. Acetyl fentanyl is a man-made version of the painkiller fentanyl and isn’t available on the prescription market. The CDC notes that it’s up to five times more potent than heroin. People who are buying drugs laced with acetyl fentanyl might have no idea that they’re not getting what’s marketed to them, increasing the chance of overdose and death. Acetyl fentanyl has appeared in both heroin and in pills sold as oxycodone. More

 

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