Is Philip Seymour Hoffman the victim of a bad batch of heroin that has already killed hundreds on the east coast in the past month?
By John Vibes
NEW YORK (INTELLIHUB) — Heroin is without a doubt one of the most dangerous and lethal street drugs on the market, even in its unadulterated form.
However, it has become even more dangerous in some areas, where it is being cut with extremely powerful cancer painkillers.
A batch of heroin containing the cancer drug Fentanyl has likely claimed hundreds of lives on the east coast since it started appearing just over a month ago.
In the past month there has been a sharp and noticeable increase in heroin overdoses all throughout the east coast.
When seeing news that actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has died of a heroin overdose in his New York apartment, many are speculating that this new lethal brand of heroin could be responsible for his death.
Police said Hoffman, 46, was found on the bathroom floor and pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators found two bags of what is believed to be heroin inside the fourth-floor apartment.
The bags were stamped with “Ace of Hearts” and “Ace of Spades” — street names for the heroin, the sources said.
The laced heroin went by the street names “Theraflu” and “Bud Ice” in Pennsylvania, but as it made its way to Long Island it was re-branded as “24K.” These batches commonly change names and retain the same formula, so it is very possible that the “Ace of Hearts” and “Ace of Spades” brands that killed Hoffman have the same composition as that of the “Theraflu” and”Bud Ice” brands.
Last month, 22 people in Rhode Island died in thirteen days. Authorities determined the cause of death in nineteen of them to have been the fentanyl-laced heroin.
The contents of the heroin that killed Philip Seymour Hoffman have not been tested yet.
As I have explained countless times in the past, these types of dangerous knock-off drugs are a direct result of prohibition. If you have missed my previous drug war articles, I will summarize how prohibition makes drugs more dangerous.
In the black market one of the major drawbacks is that there is no accountability among the people selling the drug. Since anyone can get kidnapped and thrown in a cage for even dealing with the stuff, it really doesn’t make sense for people to be plastering their names and logos all over the drugs.
In this age of corporate mercantilism logos and branding may seem like a really tacky idea, but when looking at the black market we can see the value in such things. Someone who is selling a product with their name on it, is going to go through far greater lengths to ensure the quality of their product, as opposed to someone who would remain anonymous.
This anonymity creates an incentive for people to be dishonest with what they sell. This could lead to rip offs, or downright contamination of the drug with unwanted harmful substances. This is why there was bathtub gin that would make you go blind if your drank it during alcohol prohibition. This is also the reason why some of the harder street drugs today are cut with toxic chemicals that increase the chance of overdose ten fold. The fact that the drugs need to be smuggled also creates the incentive to make drugs more potent, and thus in some circumstances more dangerous.
The increased potency and decreased availability inevitably leads to a massive increase in cost. The increased cost is a whole other issue with its own unique side effects in regards to drug safety. When the price of the real drugs go up, people just start huffing paint thinner, smoking bath salts and cooking up crystal meth in their basements, which is then even many times more dangerous than the unbranded drugs on the black market.