Chesterton Tribune

Heroin strain even more lethal; overdoses on the rise

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Guest Commentary

By Rocco Schiralli


Porter-Starke Services

It sounds absurd to make the statement that there is currently some “bad heroin” in our community because we all know that heroin is one of the most addicting and deadliest drugs around.

While all drug addiction becomes deadly over a period of time, heroin use increases the probability of death with each use. A heroin dependent state is achieved after only a short period of time.

The brief euphoria of heroin use is rapidly replaced with physical suffering and emotional pain.

Despair, hopelessness, regret, and overwhelming physical and emotional pain compel the addict to seek out a “fix.”

The heroin being used in Northwest Indiana RIGHT NOW is extremely lethal and in the last eight weeks has caused 6 deaths in Porter County, 1 in Lake County, and a combined 20 plus near fatal overdoses.

The main suspect in this “bad heroin” is Fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a powerful drug that can be used in clinical settings by a physician prescribing it to manage pain or for anesthesia. But the Fentanyl often used to lace heroin is created in laboratories and not as closely monitored.

The danger of Fentanyl lies in its lethality. The drug is about 100 times more powerful than heroin.

A dose as small as 120 micrograms - about the same amount as a few grains of table sugar – can be lethal for an adult.

September is designated as Recovery Month. It celebrates people in recovery from addiction and those who serve them. It is also a time to educate the public on addiction as a national health crisis, raise awareness that addiction is a treatable disease, and reinforce the fact that recovery is possible. In order to celebrate recovery you need to be alive. Seek treatment NOW.

There are resources available. Call Porter-Starke Services at 219.531.3500, Regional Mental Health System at 219.769.4005, Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living at 219.885.4264 or Swanson Center at 219.879.4621.


Posted 9/3/2010