Heroin has been sweeping the nation and taking lives each day. It is not news that heroin is dangerous and can lead to a deadly overdose. A batch of heroin laced with Fentanyl has recently been seen on the black market that is taking lives. Fentanyl is an opiate based painkiller which is 90 times the strength of morphine and 30 times the strength of heroin. When added to heroin (which is also known as “lacing” it), can make the heroin very potent and extremely deadly.
A heroin addict that has been using heroin for a good amount of time is aware of what their tolerance is. They know that each batch of heroin may vary and they will take their minimum amount to see how strong it is. The problem is, heroin laced with Fentanyl is much stronger than regular heroin. Even an addict who has been using it for a long time can fall victim to an overdose when their heroin is mixed, laced or cut with something such as Fentanyl.. Fentanyl is added for one reason only, which is to make the heroin more potent. Drug dealers want their product to be the best on the street. With so much competition by dealers, adding cheap Fentanyl to their batches will bring more clientele and increase sales. Dealers do not care if the drug causes overdoses and kills people, they just want to make money and heroin is a huge black market business. In fact when a strong batch of heroin and overdoses are reported more addicts try to find that heroin. They know it's powerful and that's exactly what they are looking for.
According to Michael Ferguson, acting special agent in charge of the New England division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, heroin that has reached the New England area that is laced with Fentanyl is coming from Columbia. The Mexican drug cartels are buying the laced heroin from the Columbian drug cartels and trafficking it into the United States. The DEA says they have undercover agents inside Columbia and Mexico. After being laced with Fentanyl, the drug mix is smuggled across the border to traffickers in the United States. Some of those traffickers drive more than 2,000 miles from New England to the US Southwest border and return directly with the drugs to cities such as Boston, Hartford, and Providence. Once in New England, heroin and its Fentanyl-laced version are parceled out to dealers in smaller cities, in affluent suburbs, and in isolated towns. To reach those communities, the Colombian and Mexican drug organizations funnel heroin through contacts in “virtually every major city and town in New England,” Ferguson said.
Although New England has coped with heroin abuse for decades, the region has been stricken by a startling rise in overdose deaths since late last year. Local authorities across New England have said for months that they believe the spike is being driven by the introduction of Fentanyl, a drug often used to treat pain in terminally ill cancer patients. More than 200 people in Massachusetts have died from opioid overdoses since November, according to State Police and municipal data. In Rhode Island, 91 people died of overdoses from the beginning of the year through mid-May. Close to half of the fatal overdoses there were connected to heroin mixed with unprebscribed Fentanyl.