Mixing drugs of abuse has become a common practice. Overdose deaths and millions of emergency room visits as result of individuals knowingly or unwittingly mixing drugs of abuse attest to the danger inherent in this activity. It is not uncommon for people taking one drug to accompany it with alcohol or another equally toxic substance. The practice is spurred in part by the social environment in which drug use occurs and people’s desire to achieve a greater high. Mixing drugs of abuse is also a strategy utilized by illegal drug manufactures for the dual purpose of creating fast addiction and ensuring a consistent revenue stream from repeat business.
One of the most dangerous occurrences of mixing drugs of abuse includes the heroin/fentanyl mix. Fentanyl is an opioid prescription medication which studies indicate is at least twenty times more potent than heroin and 89 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. This deadly cocktail first gained media attention after it had reportedly killed twenty-two people. In areas like Harrison, New York many heroin laced drug overdose compositions also indicate the presence of the banned compound antipyretic metamizole. This is an analgesic and antipyretic used as a fever reducer that is similar in use to ibuprofen. Packets containing these highly toxic blends confiscated by law enforcement were stamped as “24K” in red ink.
Unfortunately, these deadly drug combinations are prevalent and also include the synthetic drugs that are designed to mimic marijuana. Drug like K2” and “Spice” are blends that have a shape shifting component to them. Users can never be sure what is contained in any given batch of drugs. Even if the names don’t change the content can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. These popular alternatives to marijuana are often characterized as “legal highs” because of the unpredictable ingredients and reactions from those who ingest them.
One of the most unpleasant reactions to the mixing of chemicals is the flesh eating drug known as Krokodil or desomorphine. Desomorphine is a more potent opiate derivative of morphine. When this drug is mixed with codeine and a variable number of chemicals that may include gasoline, oil, paint thinner and alcohol it has the ability to rot human flesh from the inside out. Patients who experience these reaction typically suffer the consequences of gangrene which often necessitate amputation of the affected body part.
Drug blends are readily available from the neighborhood drug dealer to smoke shops, convenience stores, on the internet under various disguises. Although there has been mass media coverage of the adverse and often fatal effects of these drugs, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people abusing them. Part of the danger of these toxic cocktails is that they are not subject to validation or standardization via human testing procedures. Since these drug combinations are also subject to the manufacturer’s whim and some chemicals may not show up in drug kits, substance abusers naturally put themselves at risk when purchasing and using these illicit substances.
According to data released by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the number of people who died from unintentional heroin overdoses in New York City in 2014 was the highest death toll the city has seen in a decade. The rapid production, distribution and endless combination also makes it difficult to characterize and control the use of these mixed drugs.
If you or a loved one has a drug problem call Drug Treatment Centers Harrison today at (914) 829-5816 for help finding treatment centers.
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