Street Drugs More Dangerous Due to Fentanyl, Other Adulterants
Many people have been prescribed opioids for pain management and later develop an addiction. However, while previously, people who used opioids used them purposefully, today, there is a new class of drug users. Many people who take street drugs don't realize it contains other adulterants. While this adulterant is often fentanyl, several other dangerous drugs are now tainting the illicit market. You won't know they're in your drug unless the drug or the person taking it is tested.
Common Additives Found in All Street Drugs
Several drugs have been found as additives in street drugs, especially opioids. The substances added to drugs vary depending on the region and the specific drug mixture. Some of the commonly detected additives include:
- Fentanyl: This is a powerful synthetic opioid that is often added to street opioids to increase their potency. Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and can be lethal even in small doses. It is the top cause of overdoses in the US.
- Carfentanil: This is an even more potent synthetic opioid than fentanyl and is sometimes added to street opioids. It is used as a tranquilizer for large animals and is not intended for humans. However, it can be deadly to its users.
- Xylazine: This highly potent sedative is relatively new on the streets but has been found in 48 states, according to the DEA. It's typically added to drugs like fentanyl to make the effects of the opioids more heightened, and the high may seem to last longer. Some people, however, become addicted and use it purposefully. Fentanyl and xylazine are called "tranq dope" on the streets.
- Benzodiazepines: These are a class of sedative drugs that are sometimes added to street opioids to enhance their effects or to help users overcome withdrawal symptoms.
- Methamphetamine: This powerful stimulant is sometimes added to street opioids to increase their potency.
- Tramadol: This is a prescription opioid pain medication that is sometimes found in street opioids.
Any of these additives can increase the risk of overdose and other adverse effects. In addition, when you buy from an illicit source, you won't know precisely what is in the pills you're taking, as they are often pressed and sold illegally.
It's best to avoid using street opioids altogether and seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction.
Which Street Drugs Are Most Commonly Sold with Adulterants in Them?
There are a lot of rumors that tend to surround street drugs and narcotics. The truth is that there is no safe way to take a drug that has been altered. Some drugs are more commonly altered to add a "kick," cause addiction, or make up for the fact that the drug is weak.
- MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy): MDMA is often adulterated with other substances such as caffeine, amphetamines, or bath salts. In some cases, it has also been found to be mixed with fentanyl or other potent opioids.
- Cocaine: Cocaine is frequently cut with other substances to increase its volume and potency, such as local anesthetics (e.g., benzocaine), caffeine, or levamisole, a veterinary drug used to deworm animals.
- Heroin: Heroin is commonly cut with other substances such as fentanyl, caffeine, or sugar to increase its bulk or potency. Fentanyl is especially dangerous when added to heroin, as it is much more potent than heroin and can easily lead to overdose.
- LSD: LSD is a powerful hallucinogen often sold on small pieces of paper called blotter tabs. Unfortunately, some blotter tabs sold as LSD may contain other substances, such as research chemicals, which can have dangerous and unpredictable effects.
Using Street Drugs with Alcohol is Also a Hazard
Mixing opioids with other drugs, including alcohol, can lead to respiratory depression, coma, and death. Adding alcohol or other drugs to the mix can cause an overdose. Using opioids with alcohol always carries a heightened risk of respiratory depression. When opioids are mixed with other central nervous system depressants, such as benzodiazepines or alcohol, the risk of respiratory depression increases exponentially. This is because these substances can amplify the effects of opioids, leading to potentially life-threatening consequences. Another danger of mixing opioids with other drugs or alcohol is the risk of coma.
Combining opioids with other drugs or alcohol can also increase the risk of addiction and dependence. People who use street drugs are always at risk of accidentally ingesting opioids or other drugs. If you or somebody you love uses street drugs, consider carrying naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug. Opioid drugs are highly addictive, and help is available when you're ready to reach out.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or somebody you love is living with a substance use disorder, help is available! You may want to stage an intervention or get information on detox and recovery. We're here to help you reclaim your life and start a path to recovery. So please reach out; we're here to help.
If you or a loved one is looking for an effective drug rehab in San Diego, call 619-363-4767. One of our caring members is ready to answer all of your questions.