How the War on Drugs is to Blame for the Recent Spike in Heroin Overdoses

in health •  2 years ago 

Heroin deaths are on the rise again in the US. While there has been a steady increase in use over the years, the main reason for the increase in deaths is because the product is becoming more dangerous. A new trend of cutting the drug with the very strong post-surgery painkiller Fentanyl is largely to blame for the recent spike in deaths that are occurring around the country.

Fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine and roughly 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade (100% pure) heroin.

Since Fentanyl is so strong, it can be mixed with heroin and other adulterants to trick people into thinking that they are getting more heroin than they actually are. However, the risk of death and overdose greatly increase because Fentanyl is very disruptive to the respiratory system.

“The more narcotic you take, the less your body has an urge to breathe, and it makes sense that a lot of people are overdosing on it because they aren’t sure how much to take,” Dr. J.P. Abenstein, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists said in a statement.

As I have explained countless times in the past, these types of dangerous knock-off drugs are a direct result of prohibition. If you have missed my previous drug war articles, I will summarize how prohibition makes drugs more dangerous.

In the black market, one of the major drawbacks is that there is no accountability among the people selling the drug. Since anyone can get kidnapped and thrown in a cage for even dealing with the stuff, it really doesn’t make sense for people to be plastering their names and logos all over the drugs.

In this age of corporate mercantilism logos and branding may seem like a really tacky idea, but when looking at the black market we can see the value in such things. Someone who is selling a product with their name on it, is going to go through far greater lengths to ensure the quality of their product, as opposed to someone who would remain anonymous.

The anonymity creates an incentive for people to be dishonest with what they sell, leading to rip-offs or downright contamination of the drug with unwanted harmful substances. This is why there was bathtub gin that would make you go blind if you drank it during alcohol prohibition. This is also the reason why some of the harder street drugs today are cut with toxic chemicals that increase the chance of overdose ten fold. The fact that the drugs need to be smuggled also creates the incentive to make drugs more potent, and thus, in some circumstances more dangerous.

The increased potency and decreased availability inevitably leads to a massive increase in cost. The increased cost is a whole other issue with its own unique side effects in regards to drug safety. When the price of the real drugs go up, people just start huffing paint thinner, smoking bath salts and cooking up crystal meth in their basements, which is then even many times more dangerous than the unbranded drugs on the black market.

If you want to stop the overdoses, decrease crime, and deal a death blow to the for-profit prison system, there is a simple solution – End the War on Drugs.

This is content that I created for a website that I write for called The Free Thought Project:
(sources for article are hyperlinked at the site above)
Please upvote and resteem if you enjoyed my article and I will return the favor in the comments!

John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. John is currently battling cancer , and will be working to help others through his experience, if you wish to contribute to his treatments consider subscribing to his podcast to support at

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i'm a year and a half clean from heroin! The opiate epidemic is devastating our communities, I've lost to many friends already. It's driven by the drug war, over prescription of opiates, and the way we raise our children, mostly in single parent households nowadays. if we don't make serious changes in the way we treat addiction, and addicts then we're gonna lose an entire generation to it.

Great post! Keep informing and I totally agree that this is a huge problem in America. Probably the biggest.

Resteemed. I wish the war on drugs would end too. I agree that the anonymity of the drug sources causes great problems. I'm not sure if legalization, taxation, or regulation could be part of the solution, but I'd prefer that anyone who wants to be in the drug business could bring it above ground. I'd even like organic options. I don't do drugs, but would prefer a society where drugs are safely available at a reasonable cost.

very true on everything you said. One thing that is also influenceing the rise of Fentyal is the cheap and steady supply coming from China. I remember reading a long while back that Osama Bin Laden was looking into making a super heroin to flood the streets of america.. What if China is trying to do the same?

What you say is very true.

"...they aren’t sure how much to take..."

No. They can't know how much they are getting, and of what, because being forced to go to criminals to meet their medical needs prevents them from having any way to assess what they are getting.

All illegal drug overdose deaths are basically institutional murder. The more pressure that is put on people to conceal their use, and seek what they need outside of trained and professional assistance, the more harm and death results.

Why aren't overdoses climbing in Mexico? Holland? Switzerland? Why only where prohibition and politicization of medicine is used to sell on black markets, and produce ever greater profits of pharmaceutical companies, the CIA, and savage thugs?

I guess I answered my own question.


Not to mention that prohibition actually makes the drug trade more profitable and lucrative to criminal organizations. The drug war has also allowed the government to usurp the role of family, peer groups, and private clinics in an addict's life. The best help always comes from people who actually care about you, not psychopaths that want to generate as much revenue as possible.

I like this post. Deaths from tainted material are wrong. Why stop there though? Recent adulterations of heroin with carfentanil are more alarming. The gateway isn't alcohol or marijuana anymore. It's prescribed legal narcotics, benzodiazepines, and stimulants.

monumentally important information! resteemed.