A news alert is circulating today about counterfeit oxycodone pills which are actually heroin. This is the first official report of heroin pressed into tablet form, although there have been prior reports in other states.
According to Jason's blog post at The Counseling Center in Fair Lawn, in Bergen County New Jersey, the heroin tablets are imprinted with the same "A/215" imprint that was assigned to a legal 30mg oxycodone pill. The pictures show the fake pills are also green, which is quite different from the official white oxycodone tablets. Can we simply suggest people avoid "the green pills"?No, that would not be wise. Because drug abusers know more than we do about "green pills".
Green Pills, Oxycontin, heroin, and oxycodone
At Sunrise Detox, we have treated over 18,000 individuals over the past several years. Our full medical detox centers in Stirling and Toms River see dozens of new admissions every week, plus we handle dozens more inquiries and calls for help we refer to others. Most people calling for help these days have abused prescription pain killers, either as part of an opiate addiction or as a precursor to heroin use. To many opiate/opioid addicts, the "green pills" is a reference to 80mg oxycontin, a legal and legitimate formulation that is of a very high 80mg dose.
Don't Trust Drug Dealers
Maybe the drug dealers know what they are doing by making those fake pills green. As you can see in the attached photos, the official, legal, pharmaceutical 80mg Oxycontin (which is oxycodone) is green, and roughly-pressed. The close-up shows rough edges and the "80" and "OP" imprints on the tablets.
We tracked (and treated) the prescription pain killer addiction wave as it spread through south Florida between 2008 and 2011, fueled by Oxycontin, the "Hillbilly Heroin". When it was widely-available and poorly-controlled, Oxycontin was the drug of choice for abusers, and hooked many people into addiction. As you consume more oxycodone, you need more oxycodone to prevent the onset of withdrawal sickness. And that means more pills, or higher dose pills. The highest dose for a long time was the 80mg "Oxys", which were green (see photo).
The drug using community came to know the "green ones" to be the strongest, and thus most desired and least expensive on a dosage basis (milligrams of drug per dollar).
Break Free of Opioid Dependency
It is not safe to simply "avoid the green ones" or "avoid the ones with imprint A/215" on them. Drug dealers are clever and innovate to meet demand. They will do what it takes to make money, which includes switching people away from hard-to-obtain official pharmaceuticals to cheaper, easily manipulated heroin. In this instance, we see drug dealers purposefully mislabeling heroin as oxycodone, perhaps to trick pain killer abusers into trying and becoming addicted to heroin.
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