Why do they lace heroin with fentanyl?

I am using the fentanyl and heroin as an example.

Dealers are mixing deadly substances in all street drugs including cocaine, pot and meth. But I think it’s odd to lace things with substances that kill. I can’t figure out what they get out of it.

From a purely practical point of view, these dealers are killing their customers. So why would they do that? Do they feel they have so many that it doesn’t matter? Does adding the substances add so much allure that those who suffer addiction think it’s worth the risk if they can feel that euphoric high they felt in the beginning of their addiction?

And finally, aren’t these deadly substances like fentanyl and Carfentanyl hard to get? Many who buy the drugs are unaware there are deadly substances mixed in so there would be a number of customers who would die. Not that this fact is important to drug dealers.

I’ve read that dealers add fentanyl to pills and drugs of all kinds because it gets people addicted faster creating more customers. But if it kills them that defeats the purpose. It would also make law enforcement that much more determined to bring in that dealer.

From a purely business standpoint, it’s seems like a really stupid strategy. From a criminal perspective, it’s murder.

Answers from people who know.

From Jenny Derr – It’s all about the money. Fentanyl is so much more potent so a little goes a long way. It’s always about the money.

From Tom Bannard – Jenny’s comment is right on about the short term reasons for it. The long term reasons I believe are about drug prohibition. Prohibition increases potency (see alcohol prohibition/moonshine). If you are willing to risk 10-20 years of your life to sell heroin(and most of those that sell also use), the incremental punishments above that are not much of a deterrent. This is why the drug war is not just a failure that has decimated communities of color, but something that is increasing overdoses, in addition to increasing cost to society through enforcement and incarceration, while decreasing access to help and increasing stigma. For more explanation on what allows us to be complicit in an 105 year drug war (hint:racism) check out Johan Hari’s chasing the scream.

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

2 thoughts on “Why do they lace heroin with fentanyl?”

  1. The drugs are designated by the GOVERNMENT. Whoever pulls the strings direct the paths in which drugs go. It’s the black community here and they are killing poor, troubled whites. My sister was killed by cocaine and fentanyl after she was severely beaten. She apparently owed money. She was treated as a friend at first, they give some free to get them hooked then they pull the effin rug out from underneath them when they owe money. And even though selling fentanyl should be a capital crime the police don’t waste any time with the murder and toss it off as an overdose.

    1. I am so sorry for the death of your sister. That is so heartbreaking and many in this tribe have experienced the loss of a loved one from overdose under circumstances around which there are a lot of questions. Anger is part of the grief process and I hope you find some peace from it. Most of us here found healing once we worked through the anger and blame phase for which many of us struggled for a long time given the nature of addiction and how cruel a disorder it is.

      Addiction affects all areas of the country, across all races and religious groups, and dealers, often those who are addicted and desperate themselves, are also in multiple race categories and backgrounds. I’ve seen a lot of rich whites die from an overdose, too. We always welcome people who are grieving in our community but we do not point fingers or make generalizations based on race, religion, or political affiliation because it’s not helpful to a community of hurting people from many backgrounds and ethnic groups. I am sorry that you, like me, have lost a family member to it. While my son took his life while going through withdrawal. I don’t think that would have happened if he had not been addicted which was never within my control, unfortunately. I think society as a whole deems the addicted as “worthless” lives which is so unfair and what I try to combat daily.

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