A new twist on the heroin abuse problem plaguing America may increase the risk of drug overdose death for many unsuspecting victims. Heroin formulated into pills is believed to be extremely deadly. In fact, this new heroin pill causing concern in several states is so powerful that experts say taking just one could be fatal. Currently the potential for pill sharing and mistaking the heroin pill for a prescription painkiller is extremely possible and worrisome. Pill sharing among teenagers and college students make this product a serious threat. Law makers encourage parents to call 911 immediately if their child or young adult have an adverse reaction to ingesting a prescription drug because may just turn out to be a heroin pill. These pills have reportedly been confiscated in Kentucky, Ohio and New Jersey. Other cases of heroin pills have been reported in Florida and the Pennsylvania area. Heroin is a highly addictive substance in powdered form. When concentrated into a tablet, it could be two to three times more potent. The danger increases exponentially if the drug is adulterated with other equally powerful substances. Heroin is also a controlled substance classified as a Schedule I drug with no acceptable medical use in the United States. Injection is often the preferred method of administration of the powdered form of heroin. Heroin pills however, can be swallowed whole, used as a suppository or crushed so that the drug can be snorted, smoked or sniffed.
This new heroin pill is unlike any other “heroin product” that substance abusers have used up on till now, which increases the danger to non-heroin users. According to experts, heroin pills are deliberately designed to be similar in appearance to prescription medications like Percocet and Oxycodone, only more lethal. In fact, even savvy drug users may have problems identifying the heroin pills. The pills are created from pressed heroin and stamped to look like opioid Percocet. Percocet is a narcotic prescription drug that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen that is typically prescribed for pain management. According to Angelo Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey, these pill could contain a mixture of heroin and other substances like fentanyl or morphine. He further explained that illicit manufacturers of these pill put various markings on them that can be different depending on which part of the country the drug is produced. The gravest concern, he said, is that these pills could wind up in the hands of people who mistake them for vitamins or other types of medications.
The new formulation also changes the landscape and heightens the danger of accidental heroin overdose for many people, including children. For instance, because the drug is no longer in powdered form, it can easily be disguised in pill bottles. This makes the pill more accessible. It also makes transportation and distribution of heroin much easier for illicit drug dealers. Law enforcement also believes that the heroin pills are a lucrative marketing move by drug dealers who can sell the drug as Percocet or Oxycodone. The cost of a dose of heroin on the street is between $10 and $20, while one Percocet pill could sell for as much as $30. The disguised heroin pills can also attract unsuspecting consumers who are seeking to buy prescription pills. Recent seizures of heroin pills in Florida have prompted a warning from the Florida General Attorney’s Office about the inherent risk of this new heroin product. But Florida is not the only state issuing warnings about heroin pills. The primary message that have been issued in various states across the country is that heroin pills, whatever their composition or disguise, are a serious threat to anyone who uses them. If you have become addicted to heroin or any other opiod painkiller, it is important you seek help in the form of drug treatment as soon as possible. For more information about the treatment programs available in your area, contact caring who can help.
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