There is enough that’s dangerous about heroin without adding more to the risks. There is so much generalized discussion about the huge number of people struggling with this type of addiction within the U.S. at present, but the hazard that is almost never discussed is that “there’s no way to know for sure exactly what’s in the substance” when it’s purchased and used, and it may contain an ugly heroin additive.

The Opioid Effect of One Heroin Additive

Some users may be able to distinguish between different sources for heroin, but many “drug cartels dilute their products with nearly indistinguishable substances,” which goes unnoticed by most. People are purchasing an already-lethal drug and don’t even realize that they aren’t buying what they think they’re buying and are likely putting themselves at an even greater risk than before.

It’s difficult to talk about, considering how bad heroin is on its own, but to throw a heroin additive into the mix only serves to increase the potential for overdose and harm. One in particular, called carfentanyl, has risen in popularity by the cartels that are including it. This additive is more commonly known as an opioid used to sedate large animals and it isn’t difficult to see, therefore, how something used to sedate might lead to an increase in overdoses.

Carfentanyl might not be considered a “common” addition to the heroin mix, but it is an extremely dangerous one. Unfortunately, it’s also difficult for a person to detect additions like this one without actually testing it. “Carfentanyl is odorless and colorless, making it effectively invisible and undetectable.” Most people who use heroin are unable to tell not only if what they purchased contains carfentanyl, but also how pure the substance is in a more general sense.

Without being able to detect it, people are likely to use the drug and potentially take that dangerous heroin additive into their bodies. Since it is described as being “10,000 times stronger than morphine, 2,500 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times the strength of fentanyl,” there is no room for doubt in how serious this issue is. It’s beyond dangerous and is, in fact, incredibly lethal. In further misfortune, carfentanyl is said to be too powerful for most overdose kits to reverse, so there is very little chance to overcome it if this chemical is ingested.

The only spot of hope within this situation, currently, is that carfentanyl as a heroin additive isn’t particularly common. That does nothing to lessen the impact of general heroin addiction throughout the country or to minimize the loses of those exposed to it, but at the very least, it doesn’t play an enormous role in the epidemic. It is really another tragedy in a long line of tragedies, all of which stem from the obscene amount of addictions that rage on at present. Perhaps soon, this particular issue will be remedied with some way to determine the content of these substances… or, better yet, a way to ease and heal addictions.

Heroin and opioids have caused more than enough damage in the Untied States these days without the deadly influence of other heroin additives. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, then contact The Bergand Group if you or someone you care about is suffering from an addiction. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.