Opiate Dependancy And As A Consequence Higher Ods Due To Mexican Black Tar

by D J Inaba - Date: 2010-10-20 - Word Count: 677 Share This!

It has been recently reported that the purity of the black and brown tar heroin from Mexico has caused a rash of heroin overdoses. In 2008 the number of deaths was up to 3000 which is a significant rise from the approximately 2000 deaths reported in 2000.
I see another "downer" epidemic on the horizon, which is typical of what happens after 30 or so years of "uppers" like cocaine and methamphetamine. All over the country there is a rise in heroin abuse along with prescription opiate drug addictions, which is a clear indication that the next wave of substance dependence will be "downers".

The heroin overdoses we see today are undoubtedly linked to the variations in the purity of the drug. We do not see a steady number of heroin overdoses every year, instead what we see are rashes of them usually linked to a pure form of heroin that has hit the streets.
Tar heroin is a more pure form of heroin in terms of the actual milligrams of the drug, but it is less pure because it contains all the adulterants, ingredients and residue left from the processing - extracting the opium from the opium poppy into morphine and then from morphine into heroin.A Mexican cartel back in the 1980's learned how to process the morphine that's in opium more efficiently. They concentrate it without eliminating the other adulterants, plant materials and everything else in opium. The morphine that results is converted into heroin by adding acetic acid or concentrated vinegar to it.The process is simple, but the heroin is very potent because it is hard to cut. The finished product looks like tar and is tacky, sometimes with a black sheen to it. When heroin is processed and sold this way users "chase a dragon" which means smoking it. The heroin is so strong that burning it and then breathing in the vapor is sufficient to get a user high.

When it hits the streets it is sold in smaller gram quantities, which is different than a bag of heroin which contains approximately 300 - 400 mg of powder.Powder is easier to cut than the tar form and everyone along the supply chain wants a piece of the profit so they "step on it" - which means adding something to increase the quantity. All kinds of things are added, for example, if someone wants to buy brown heroin - the seller will add instant coffee, if white heroin is requested - any kind of white powder such as quinine or lactose will be added to it to step on or dilute it further.It is hard to cut or dilute tar so that form is anywhere from 60 to 80% pure actual heroin. That is a startling difference from the heroin of the 1960's and 70's which was only 1 or 2%.

If someone is used to injecting a specific amount of a drug to get a certain effect, they are more likely to overdose if they inject the same amount of heroin that is much more concentrated. That is what we see happening today and as heroin use escalates, we see more requests for this type of addiction treatment. When people become addicted to opiates, they develop a very rapid tolerance to the drug and it takes more and more of the drug to satisfy their craving. This may be one reason opiates lend themselves very quickly to the injection method of delivery. It is injected for the euphoric rush. Heroin is a drug that delivers that and for that reason people will graduate from Darvon and the codeines to Vicodin, OxyContin and heroin very quickly.Also when heroin is brought in like this, it is usually introduced as "chasing a dragon" which is smoking it.By breathing that vapor in, the heroin is strong enough that one is going to get high by causing it to sublimate or causing it to go into smoke and then smoking it.As a person's need for the drug increases and they want more quantity and a stronger rush, that lends itself to more heroin addictions.

Related Tags: heroin addiction, mexican tar, drug addiction education, heroin overdoses, addiction education videos

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