Ohio Deaths Due To Blue Drop Heroin
Blue drop heroin, a new and dangerous mixture of heroin and fentanyl that is 30 to 50 times more potent that either drug on its own, is said to be responsible for the rising rates of overdose deaths in Ohio.
“Add fentanyl to heroin, its potency goes through the roof. Now, all of a sudden they have something people are dying for on the street,” Jack Riley, acting deputy administrator at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said of these street drugs.
Blue Drop Heroin Devastates State
His words rang true when the state’s heroin problem really took a turn for the worse in May. That is when authorities became aware of this powerful new concoction. A batch made its way to Ohio from Chicago. The first batch of Blue Drop managed to cause more than 30 overdoses and two deaths of Ohioans within a matter of just 12 days. It could have been much worse. Fortunately, the lives of many others were saved due to the opioid reversal medication, naloxone, for many would have died without it.
Ohio officials believe the hybrid heroin to be a leading cause in the alarming increase in drug related deaths, which have dramatically increased by 500% across the state since 2014 with 2,482 overdose deaths in the past year alone.
Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said “At the same time we are experiencing positive progress in our fight against drug addiction, such as fewer opiates being dispensed and a decrease in high doses of opiates, we are also seeing some individuals begin to use more dangerous drugs to achieve more intense effects. As they build up a tolerance to drugs they’re using, they may progress, for example, from prescription pain pills, to heroin, to fentanyl, which is often cut into heroin.”
A State in Need of Help
It is clear that “blue drop” is far different than the usual heroin they have been trying to battle for so long. As a result increased overdoses and deaths, Ohio lawmakers have teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an effort to fully assess the state’s fentanyl and heroin abuse in the hopes of getting a handle on the overdose rates, offering on-site drug testing and provide adequate services to those struggling with opiate addiction.
“We are committed to aggressively fighting opiate abuse in Ohio, including the rise of fentanyl,” stated coordinator of the Governor’s Cabinet Action Team, Andrea Boxhill. “We’re building on the many good things we are already doing by pursuing new initiatives to strengthen drug abuse prevention, expand efforts to control access to opiates; and continue to enhance access to treatment, but much more needs to be done to address this new crisis facing Ohio,” she continued.
Ohio lawmakers are putting up a good fight to rid their cities and counties of “blue drop” as they work with law enforcement and citizens to bring dealers down. However, it is, like most drug epidemics, a work in progress with many peaks and valleys to endure before the light at the end of the tunnel is able to shine through.
If you or someone you know is in Ohio and struggling with addiction, contact one of Health Street’s DNA & Drug Testing locations in Ohio to schedule one of the following drug tests: