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Why would someone cut heroin with fentanyl? It's cheap, say these researchers



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By Maggie Fox

Overdose deaths increase by 1

0 percent in 2017 alone – and nearly half of deaths are caused by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl , 19659007] These lab-made drugs can be very effective and increasingly show up in drug supplies that buyers believe are heroin. Since fentanyl and related medicines are so effective, it is easy to administer an overdose. That's why so many users are dying.

Indeed, according to US data, deaths from synthetic opioids in the US today surpass the deaths of heroin or other opioid drugs.

But why cut heroin with fentanyl first? Researchers in California say there are two reasons. "It's cheaper than heroin, and it's smaller, lighter, and easier to smuggle," said Sarah Mars, who studies drug addiction and drug policy at the University of California, San Francisco.

Mars and his colleagues interviewed drug users across the country. along with some street vendors who also use their own products. They also researched drug prices and distribution patterns to answer questions about why fentanyl and fentanyl-like drugs are becoming so common.


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