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Drug Overdoses Rise in Philadelphia Due to Tainted Heroin

A new report from Philly reveals that fatal heroin overdoses are once again rising in Philadelphia. The city lost a total of 1,217 patients to addiction in 2017 alone, one of the highest death rates in America. Now, those numbers are on the rise again.

On July 20th, 2018, paramedics and local hospitals were forced to engage emergency crisis measures to address a total of 165 overdoses in a single day. Philadelphia’s usual average is closer to 35 patients per day.

Contaminated Products in Philadelphia

Officials believe Philadelphia’s current escalation in heroin-related deaths isn’t just a result of the fact that heroin use is dangerous. Instead, they believe people may be unknowingly taking contaminated product, raising their risk of overdose substantially.

Potentially contaminated heroin “products’ include a form of heroin colloquially referred to as “Santa Muerte,” which is supposedly one of the purest and most trustworthy options for addicts on Philadelphia streets.

Testing revealed that all 165 patients who used Santa Muerte last Friday also ingested deadly Fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than morphine. Physicians also believe the mixture may contain a second undisclosed anticholinergic drug.

Why Addicts Can’t Just Stop

It seems logical when you aren’t in the midst of addiction: if taking heroin is such a risk, why not just stop? The problem with this mindset is that it doesn’t take into consideration the physical and neurological changes that come with addiction.

An addict who is in deep enough cannot stop using without putting his or her life at risk from serious, potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms – and many can’t afford to take time off or pay for long-term drug rehabilitation.

This leaves Philadelphia’s addicts in a difficult spot. Do they take the risk and use, getting well enough to survive often-difficult lives? Or do they attempt to stop using drugs and risk death from side effects like critical dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, or cardiac arrest?

How Drug Addiction Works

When someone develops an addiction, receptors in the brain literally rewire themselves in a self-protective measure to prevent damage and overdose. Eventually, so many receptors are created that the addict requires higher and higher doses of the drug to get their desired “high.”

Treating addiction isn’t easy; if it were, treatment centers and rapid detox centers simply wouldn’t be required. Addicts would simply stop taking their drug of choice and go on to live normal lives. With most addictive substances, such a shift just isn’t possible because of physical and neurological changes that result in extremely uncomfortable, and sometimes, even dangerous, withdrawal symptoms.

This is even more common with physically-addictive drugs, including opiates like heroin. When addicts attempt to stop taking the drug, they experience excruciating pain, diarrhea, vomiting, high heart rates, high blood pressure, and even electrolyte imbalances. In some cases, withdrawal may be so emotionally severe that it causes hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis.

Learn More About Advanced Rapid Detox as a Way to Finally Conquer Your Drug Addiction

Sustainable recovery from addiction means changing your lifestyle and learning healthy coping habits. But these steps are made even more difficult when patients are still under the influence of drugs, including maintenance therapy. Detox flushes intoxicants out of the body and “resets” receptors to normal levels.

At Advanced Rapid Detox, we specialize in rapid opiate detox methods that resolve the physical aspect of addiction in as little as three days. Detox takes place under 1:1 medical care in a comfortable environment in an average of just three days. Whether you’re struggling for the first time or the 20th time, we can help you get back on track once and for all. Call us today at (800) 603-1813 for one-on-one help.