New, Deadly Drug Concoction Hits Streets
> 6/5/2006 1:07:33 PM

A new mix of heroin and the painkiller fentanyl has been leaving dead bodies in its wake. Major cities have felt the brunt of this wave, with Detroit experiencing 54 drug overdoses, likely from the mixture, since May 18th--many suspect that as many as 200 deaths could eventually be linked to the drug. Likewise, in Chicago police have confirmed 55 overdose deaths from the fentanyl laced heroin since February, and suspect nearly 50 others of the same. Maybe most frightening is the fact that, as the Washington Post reports in story from Chicago linked above, dealers are distributing the green-tinted fentanyl/heroin mix free on the streets to demonstrate its outrageously strong high. Unfortunately, in many cases, this free shot can be the last one you take.

Police and those who watch the drug trade see this new development as just another result of market pressures for stronger products. For virtually the same price, the fentanyl laced heroin packs a much stronger punch. In Pittsburgh, as in other cities, one of the major problems is that law enforcement has no idea where the drug is coming from, and while they use man-hours trying to track it down, bodies continue to pile up.

Police are conflicted about offering warnings to addicts about the dangerous drug because in many instances they are simply providing free advertising for the dealers.

"The dealers were passing out free samples to attract users," Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. "The police department was trying to be proactive by alerting the public about the bad heroin, but we were providing free marketing, basically providing a road map."

The one thing that is clear in this growing drug fueled storm is that this new drug is not to be trifled with. While some of the reporting speculates that the recent rash of deaths are simply due to one bad mixture or inexperienced cutting of the product, the fentanyl laced heroin has already shown itself incredibly destructive. Almost so much so that it cannot continue its rise in popularity as it would eventually kill off all its users. Lets just hope that a police can devise a successful combat strategy before that happens.

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