Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Worsening Overdose Crisis, Officials Say

Fentanyl-laced heroin is worsening the nation’s overdose crisis, officials tell NPR. Some drug dealers are using an illicit version of fentanyl, an anesthesia drug, to increase the potency of heroin that has been diluted.

In March, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a nationwide alert in response to a surge in overdose deaths from heroin laced with fentanyl, the most potent opioid available for medical use. According to the DEA, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues produced in illicit clandestine labs are up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30-50 times more powerful than heroin.

Fentanyl is potentially lethal, even at very low levels, according to the DEA.

Federal drug agents say in the last two years, Mexican cartels have increased production of a variant of fentanyl called acetyl fentanyl, and are smuggling it into the United States.

“Heroin is bad enough, but when you lace it with fentanyl, it’s like dropping a nuclear bomb on the situation,” Mary Lou Leary, a deputy director in the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, told NPR. “It’s so, so much more dangerous.”

There were at least 700 fentanyl-related deaths from late 2013 through 2014. Only a few states have added acetyl fentanyl to their lists of banned substances, the article notes. The DEA added the drug to the federal list this year.

Respond to Opioid Overdose with Naloxone

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39 Responses

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    shayla Allen

    June 20, 2017 at 4:08 PM

    My son passed away on
    Dec 6, 2016 from Heroin
    Lace with phentonyl.
    He was on Oxycodedone
    Due to a back problem
    From being in two wrecks. He was addicted to pain pills but I never
    Knew or suspected he would do heroin. I found his body in his apartment. He was my
    Youngest Child and my only son. We were very close. I will never get over his death !!!
    I pray president Trump
    Will succeed in building
    That wall because I feel
    That is how the drugs are coming in to the U.S.
    I also feel like they are trying to kill as many Americans as they can by adding phentonyl.

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    Kristine Guidry

    June 12, 2017 at 7:45 PM

    My 19 year old son passed away April 10, 2017, unofficially from heroin laced with fentanyl. We’re still waiting on the toxicology report but the police were sure that’s what it was. He was away at college so we don’t know if it was his first time trying it or his 50th. His dad and I went to visit him and found him dead at his apartment with a needle next to him. Luckily, his computer was on and didn’t have a screen saver on it, so the police were able to get a lead on the seller and he was arrested 2 days later. My son wasn’t an innocent victim, but he wasn’t planning on dying that day. We are devastated.

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      Julie

      June 13, 2017 at 9:26 AM

      Kristine, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I pray that your family will heal, as you continue to cherish, remember and honor your son who has passed.

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    UPSET fATHER OF A 26 YR OLD

    May 12, 2017 at 8:28 PM

    My daughter is on life support right now and she more than likely won’t make it through the night, I spoke to her once when she arrived at the Hospital and she could hardly talk because she couldn’t breathe, The last words from my sweet daughter is going to be, Daddy, are you coming to pick me up? I said I can’t you are where they can help you. she said ok, and I did get to tell her I loved her. She has been using it for a year or more. I don’t know how I am going to make it , I will have to because I am raising her 7 year old son, My Grandson. God help me . SHE IS ONLY 26.

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    Lori Johnson

    April 19, 2017 at 10:11 PM

    My son passed away February 21 2017 from this horrible drug. I still am waiting for his autopsy report. I hope they give these dealers life. My son is dead because of heroin and fentoynal combination. And yes build the wall to keep this deadly drug off our streets.

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    Carson Clark

    March 31, 2017 at 12:40 AM

    My son just passed away March 27 from heroin laced with fentanyl. I’m currently waiting on autopsy results and I’m extremely pissed at this dealer, at this city, at this country, sorry, those who think shutting down the borders is wrong. This combination came from Mexico. People turn a blind eye to this, but there are thousands being lost to this. Any group out there working on this problem I’m in.

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