Potent Batch of Heroin Skyrockets Overdoses in Marion, Ohio
Marion, a city of less than 40,000 and the seat of Marion County in Ohio, has some big problems with heroin and, right now, they’re dealing with a ‘hot batch’ of heroin – one that’s especially strong or, police suspect, laced with fentanyl. The overdoses are going up, and this is an important time to keep a close watch on any heroin addicts you might know of. Here’s what you need to know.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin. Heroin, of course, is bad enough – as of the beginning of May there have been 48 overdoses in Marion this year alone, 5 of whom died – but on just one day last week there were three overdoses, one fatal.
This is scary high – not that 48 for the year so far is not – and it’s why the police think there’s a stronger than usual or laced batch on the street.
A similar thing happened in Buffalo, N.Y. in February where 23 people actually died of overdoses in 11 days. At least 19 of the 23 overdoses were confirmed to be from heroin laced with fentanyl. There seems to be a lot of fentanyl in Buffalo. Last year the police seized 36 pounds of it. Considering that an amount equal to three grains of sugar is enough to kill an adult, a lot of damage can be done.
Police in Buffalo put out warnings to addicts to get rid of any heroin they’d purchased lately, just in case. The chances of that happening are virtually nil. It’s a rare heroin addict who would be willing to throw their stuff out.
Comparing Marion to Buffalo, a city of about 250,000 but with a metropolitan area of 1.3 million, you can see that Marion is being hit very, very hard.
Lacing Heroin with Other Drugs
Heroin is one of those drugs where you truly can never tell what you’re taking. It’s a powder, not a pill, so anything can be put in it without addicts knowing. Big time dealers sometimes get their heroin relatively pure. They sell to users or to smaller dealers and, in order for it to go further so the dealers can make more money, they add something else to it. It could be anything from baking soda to strychnine – a dangerous poison.
Lacing it with stronger drugs like fentanyl is especially evil and is no doubt intended to get more business. Addicts will come to those dealers to get stronger doses. They might avoid dealers that sold them heroin that was cut with strychnine or something that made them really sick, but avoiding dealers who sell very strong stuff isn’t likely. Even if they overdosed on it before, but didn’t die.
You would think that overdosing on a drug and ‘nearly’ dying would be incentive enough to even quit, and it is for the occasional user, but for most it doesn’t mean a thing. They’re alive, and they need the drug, and that’s what rules their life – not fear of consequences.
The problem is the addicts aren’t used to those stronger doses. They don’t know how much of what drug is in the heroin they bought. A body builds up a tolerance to heroin – which is why addicts need stronger and stronger doses to get the effect they want – but to take something that’s 50 times stronger, or even less, is not something the body is used to. If the addict knew what they were actually getting in any batch of heroin, it’s possible that they would use less of it in one hit. But… they don’t usually know.
I’ve never lost a kid to heroin or any other drug – although, to be honest, my mother came close to it with me, decades ago – but I really can’t imagine anything worse.
Police in Marion are well stocked with Naloxone (also known as Narcan, and it has a few other names) – the drug that can reverse overdoses – but you have to administer it quickly. Dying from an overdose can be pretty fast, depending on how much the addict took, but it can sometimes take hours. The body slows down more and more – the breathing and so on – and eventually basically stops. If you see someone’s breathing slow down after a hit, it’s best to administer the Naloxone right away to be sure.
Naloxone can work within two to five minutes, depending on whether it’s being administered through the veins, the muscles or nasally. But if there’s no change within five minutes, you should give more. You should also start rescue breathing right away to help while the Naloxone is getting to the brain where it can start working.
If you have a heroin addict in your life, call the Marion police to find out how you can get some. Or, if you are an addict, make sure the people in your life have some.
The police, or whatever your source, doctor, pharmacist, etc., can tell you exactly how to administer it.
Help Your Addict Get Free of Drugs NOW
Addicts don’t often think of consequences. They don’t necessarily think about dying, they don’t think of the effect their condition is causing on others, or themselves – well, it isn’t that they don’t think about these things sometimes, but when it comes to addiction, the necessity for the next hit always overwhelms the fear of consequences.
The best thing to do is to help them get off the drugs completely so they’re out of danger. Not to mention that they can also change their life and get back to living. You can also get rid of your constant worry.
Addicts don’t just walk into treatment facilities to get help. They might tell you they will, but if they haven’t done it within a new few hours after that – and if they’re given the chance to go someplace else, do something else first, without being accompanied by someone who will make sure they don’t use drugs – they won’t make it at all. So you have to be very, very proactive about it. If you’ve got them in your clutches, keep them there and get them to help without delay.
Where do you take them? There are a lot of drug addiction treatment facilities available. There are so many to choose from it’s hard to know which ones are right and will work well for any individual. Call us to find out more about where you should go for help and what you can do. 855-889-0555.
And until your person is in treatment, make sure you have Naloxone on hand.