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The Mountaineer Online

Deadly drug making a ‘killer’ comeback

I have been around for a long time. I used to be very popular, but I am coming back into style. People will tell you that I can make you relax and escape from all your problems.
Here are some more interesting facts about me.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2013 reports that of the $65 billion global market for opium, morphine and me, $600 million of that annually goes to the Taliban. The terrorism that threatens us every day, worldwide, consists of more than just acts of violence. So drug use in America supports terrorist attacks on our Soldiers around the world as they defend our way of life and destroys future generations, as we see each day from personal experiences and in the media.
In Jefferson County during 2013, I was responsible for 11 deaths attributed to overdoses and 700 nonfatal overdoses reported by Samaritan Medical Center. The Montgomery County Medical Examiner’s office reported I was responsible for 105 fatalities from 2011-2013.
In the National Drug Threat Assessment Summary of 2013 prepared by the Drug Enforcement Administration, 45 percent of respondents report I am highly available in the New York / New Jersey region, while 56 percent of the respondents report I am also highly available in the New England region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut).
Have you guessed who I am yet? I am heroin, a drug that – contrary to what you may have heard – can take your life without any regard to your occupation, financial status, race or age. I am a drug of opportunity, and if you give me the opportunity, I will negatively impact or destroy your life. I am sure some people are reading this and saying “that won’t happen to me.”
The fact is, the more you use or rely on me or any other drug, the more we will become a bigger part of your life and ultimately cause you, your family and friends more pain than pleasure. To bring the threat closer to home, Jefferson County has been identified as a primary and secondary route for transportation of heroin.
The heroin available through street dealers ranges from extremely potent, carrying an increased risk of overdose, to highly impure and containing many contaminants. Some are by-products of the manufacturing process, which include chemicals such as calcium oxide, ammonia, chloroform, hydrochloric acid and acetic anhydride. Strychnine, a toxic ingredient used in rat poison, is sometimes mixed with heroin and can cause death in humans.
Filler ingredients are added to bulk up the heroin, so that dealers can increase their profit margin. They vary from benign substances, such as talc, flour, cornstarch, powdered milk and sugars, to harmful substances.
For example, the tarry color and consistency of black tar heroin has led to the use of unusual diluents, including ground paper fiber soaked in black shoe polish. Quinine is sometimes added to white powder heroin for its bitter flavor. Dirt may be added to black tar heroin, leading to severe consequences.
What can you do if you find yourself, a friend or family member using drugs to handle problems? Using drugs won’t provide you with solutions that don’t have the potential to cause you even more problems, so get help!
No person is built with the answers to handle all problems. There are many agencies designed to assist you in a positive way; all you have to do is be willing to seek help.

For additional information or assistance, contact:
* Fort Drum Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, 772-3301;
* Behavioral Health Department, 772-6890;
* Military and Family Life Consultant Program, 212-6919;
* Mobile Crisis Services, 782-2327; and
* Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County Inc., 788-4660.

We are all here to assist you in getting the help you need.

Fort Drum Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program

The Mountaineer



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