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I look around and every couple of days I hear a new heartbreaking tale of how a decent person died after their "x year battle with heroin" (I had a family member take his life as a result of his addiction)
I've read that most of the ODs can be broken into several categories
1. A combination of CNS depressants(I would assume most long term addicts know better)
2. A user coming out of treatment or who has not dosed in a long time takes his "normal dose" and with his lowered tolerance Ods.
But why do you think so many people OD on it?
Any links or statistics would be great
P.S. Swim has dabbled in Oxy, but has never done heroin
Last edited by SeeYouOnPluto; 18-04-2011 at 17:07.
AFOAF has a heroin addicted friend. She says many times, he didn't seem to be aware of how much he was actually injecting; his hurry to inject gave him tunnel vision. Often she would put him in a cold shower if he immediately began to have eye-rolling behavior and such. Bless him, but he is a toxic friend.
its because the users do not know what the purity is of the heroin the gear they bought yesterday which was fine may not be the same as they buy the next day plus quite alot of heroin users who inject it do speedballs too and thats dangerous imagine what it does to the body? in my town alot of ppl who had heroin addiction and battled with it for 10 yrs have died maybe its because thier bodies are so drained of any goodness idk? its sad i ave seen someone od but they were brought back and that was a speedball he was v lucky i was devostated at what i had just seen.
From swims experiance its almost never intentional. As you said, combining meds such as klonopin, xanax, valium, with heroin can ruin your day pretty quick. And just general purity is unknown. One day your shooting dope thats 25% pure and the next day your shooting dope 50% pure..you just never know.
Smoking a small amount of a new batch is a good way to gauge purity.
Unfortunately very few addicts who inject will do this..
They will be too focused on needing that 'medicine' slammed to worry about if the shit is ten times better than yesterdays.. and/or will consider smoking a complete waste of money compared to the high of IV'ing it..
Of all pacmans years of taking heroin he fully overdosed once and bizarrely that was from snorting a 5pound bag! No other drugs involved just must have been strong shit. He had a couple of scares while injecting but knew better than to mix with other CNS depressants although he did try with ketamine and also scopolamine (man that was fucked up!!!, talking gibberish for hours) but he was with people at the time.
OP got the factors right
Mixing heroin with uppers or downers
Injecting much higher risk
Detoxing or prison then using
Going through a drought then good shit hitting the streets
You most certainly CAN overdose by smoking Heroin, particularly if it's high quality/potent gear, or your tolerance is low for whatever reason (or worse, both).
It's a fallacy that "you can't OD if you smoke it". It may be a lot harder to OD that way for someone with a tolerance, but so many things can factor into it that even experienced users can go over via smoking.
The ROA isn't that important (well, it is, but what I mean is that one can OD on heroin whether it is IV'ed, muscled, skin popped, snorted, smoked, plugged, ingested, etc.), although IV'ing is the most efficient ROA and therefore easiest way to overdose. Also, to clarify one thing, the term 'heroin overdose' is actually incorrect since it refers to a death caused by administering the lethal amount of heroin (which is quite high) in mg/kg of body weight. Very few people who 'overdose' truly OD, in actuality, they consume enough heroin to cause fatal respiratory depression, and much less heroin is needed in order to cause this than to cause a true overdose. For example, a user can die of fatal respiratory depression because they nod out and accidentally suffocate (and this person could also theoretically be saved if someone splashed cold water on them, moved them so they could breathe, performed CPR, kept them conscious, etc.), while a true overdose can only be revived with an opiate antagonist, such as naloxone (although opiate antagonists will also save someone who is dying as a result of heroin-induced respiratory depression).
Furthermore, while I'm not disputing that heroin certainly kills many people each year, statistics about heroin use/overdose are not always reported truthfully to mainstream society, which is comprised mostly of individuals that have never used heroin. Basically, anti-drug organizations, the media, and popular culture make it seem like every heroin user will probably overdose at least once during their life, while the heroin-using community knows that "overdosing" is less common than the media makes it seem. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying overdose never happens, because it absolutely does, and pretty much entirely as a result of 1)combining heroin with other drugs, especially alcohol, and 2)first-time users who take too much, or people who have been clean for a long time who experience an unexpected drop in tolerance. Maybe it's because my pony, who IV's heroin on a regular basis, didn't start using until almost 2 years ago, and by that time, user held naloxone kits were easily accessible and free, but of all the other users/addicts she's ever met in her life, only three have died b/c of heroin.
In addition, the media only portrays stereotypical heroin users-dirty, needle-sharing, AIDS-spreading, homeless junkies who are unemployed, obvious addicts, and will absolutely die of an overdose sooner or later. Because heroin is such a socially unacceptable drug, the small but nonetheless significant percentage of the population that are functional heroin users/addicts work incredibly hard to keep their use a secret, and represent a demographic that remains totally invisible to the general public. Many individuals use heroin recreationally without becoming dependent on it, or despite their physical dependence, manage to be productive members of society. Statistically, I know that less than a quarter (23%) of those who try heroin go on to become addicts.
In terms of ODing, I would say that deaths caused by heroin are a lot rarer than they seem, but of those who do heroin, at least for my pony, start doing it because they are depressed, and would be glad to die of an overdose. SWIH really doesn't know anyone who started using heroin because they were happy and loved life, most had at least a bit of a death wish. Perhaps many reported heroin overdoses are in fact, suicides and not accidental deaths. I'm very sorry about your family member, by the way. In fact, my pony knows a girl who started using heroin not for recreational reasons, but because she had already tried overdosing on several other substances and failed, and figured heroin would finally do the trick. The first time she ever tried it, she IV'ed three grams by herself, thinking it would most definitely kill her. In my opinion, heroin deaths are usually (but not always) caused because the user doesn't care whether they live or die.
Holly sorry but some of the parts of your post are downright dangerous and to suggest that only people who overdose and die on heroin are trying to kill themselves.
The ROA is not important? Of course it is. The more efficient way of taking it (IV) is going to cause more overdoses than not. Furthermore if it is snorted because of the slow onset it is difficult to guage how much to take without OD'ing.
Pacman has overdosed on 0.1g of heroin insufflated. They had to give him nalaxone numerous times and he had been using for roughly about a year and this was how much he normally would take.
Telling people to splash cold water on someone they may think of OD'ing is dangerous. It could put them in to shock!
SWIY are right that they must have a self destructive nature but the strength of heroin or any opiate/oid is a key factor here. If SWIY are used to low grade heroin then an extra strength batch comes out bang possibility of overdose.
Only 3 of died because of heroin! SWIY are making a good case for heroin being completely safe here.
Pacman would like to see some proof of these statistics SWIY talk of.
Actually, I think the media UNDER reports Heroin ODs, because they only tend to report fatal ODs.
Every person I know who uses Heroin has OD'd at least once, myself included.
Holly, you and I are EXCEEDINGLY lucky to live in areas that are part of the Narcan pilot program. I feel the need to remind you that only 5 "cities" (it's officially cities, but ends up being state-wide most of the time) in the USA are part of that program. That leaves a LOT of junkies out there without access to Narcan, afraid to call the EMTs...
ODs can and do happen all the fucking time, even to people who know what they're doing, even to people who are tolerant.
It is not long ago that batches of heroin in scotland were found to be contaminated with anthrax- very sad indeed.
It gets especially bad when people attempt to synthesize heroin or it's analogues in their home without any chemistry knowledge. A batch of mppp caused near instant parkinsonism in 7 people that used it (mppp is desomorphine but mpp+ is the toxic metabolite.)
In Russia, there appears to be a very large problem brewin' up due to lack of supply of heroin leading people to start producing their own desomorphine. Article attached, but be mindful that the pictures are very grotesque.
The issue at large is that having a drug illegal makes it much more dangerous than if it were pure and regulated. Over-doses would be less common too because people know how much they need, when the product is always pure and not fluctuating.
I think it is also due to inaccessability of things like narcan programs in most parts of the world that so many ODing users have to die.
I once had a friend ODing on Heroin in my appartement, I immediately (less than 1 minute) called the EMT, telling them it was an opiate OD.
They arrived four minutes later and all their effort was in vain although me and my gf ( a nurse) did cardiopulmonary reuscitation.
Talking to the emergency doc later, he told me that immediate Narcan injection most supposably would have saved his life.
So I think that also social-political circumstances cause deaths by heroin.
And these are to be changed!!
FINDINGS: There were 10 cases of death resulting from non-injecting routes of heroin administration between 1992 and 1996, representing 1% of cases. In three cases the route of administration was by inhalation, in five cases by nasal administration and in two cases by swallowing. The mean age of cases was 29.6 years, and nine of the cases were male. The median blood morphine concentration of non-injectors was 0.31 mg/l (range 0.06-0.99 mg/l). Drugs other than morphine were also detected in seven cases.
CONCLUSIONS: Heroin overdose deaths are not restricted to the injection of heroin. While injection may constitute a greater overdose risk-factor, there is no safe, overdose-free way to use heroin.