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Chicago Heroin Overdoses Skyrocket to Double the Normal Rate

Chicago_RiverChicago’s used to seeing a lot of heroin overdoses. At this time of year (beginning of October) it’s about one every 2 hours. And about 13 percent of those people – more than 550 of them – die. But last week, for a period of 72 hours, the number of overdoses skyrockets to one an hour. Why?

A bad batch of drugs: Heroin that was laced with fentanyl, a narcotic that’s 50 times more powerful than heroin and 80 times more powerful than morphine and is supposed to be used for cancer patients and those with similar, extreme pain levels.

Fentanyl’s been on the street for years. There was a Fentanyl ‘overdose epidemic ‘ in 2006, when more than 2,000 people died. Again, the problem was heroin-laced fentanyl.

And there have been a few periods of increased overdose rates since. In fact, a marked increase in deaths from Fentanyl-laced heroin in February 2014 prompted the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to issue a warning. At that time, 17 deaths had occurred in Pittsburgh in 17 days, and Rhode Island reported 22 deaths during the month of January.

This time, in Chicago, we’re looking at 74 deaths in 72 hours. One an hour instead of the usually one or one and a half a day.

Lacing one drug with another is common with drugs delivered intravenously.

The drugs are usually cut with inexpensive ‘fillers’. I remember years ago there was a rash of methamphetamine on San Francisco streets that was cut with strychnine.

Cutting drugs with baking soda or talcum powder is obviously done by dealers just to make more money.

But cutting with things like strychnine or Fentanyl is obviously not a money-saving move.  Whoever does that is trying to kill people. No doubt.

And they’re succeeding. Many, many thousands have people have died.

All the more reason to stop being nice about someone being on drugs.  In this case, if you let someone get away with saying “I’ll go to rehab tomorrow” or “I don’t need help. I don’t have a problem” or “I don’t need rehab, I can quit on my own”, you could be signing their death warrant.

No doubt the Chicago police are trying to trace the source of last week’s Fentanyl-laced-heroin murder spree. But even if they do succeed, it will happen again, and again, and again.

I know it’s not always possible to get someone to get the help they need. But is there more you can do? Have you called a good drug rehab center to talk to someone about it? Have you called an interventionist to come to you and speak with your son or daughter, or whoever’s doing drugs, to convince them to get help?

If not, there’s no time like the present. Call us at 855-889-0555. We can help you find the help you need.

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