Fentanyl and Heroin Here in Dallas: Dangers of Arrest and More
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is sold under a variety of names including Actiq, Duragesic, Haldid, Matrifen, and Onsolis. It’s been around for over 20 years as a prescription paid med. Beginning in the 1990s, it was becoming so popular among physicians that they were prescribing not just fentanyl in pill form but also as patches, lozenges, nasal sprays, and candy lollipops (Actiq).
Fentanyl is a serious, and I mean serious, drug. The CDC reports that fentanyl is 80 times more powerful than morphine and packs a punch 100 times stronger that a comparable dose of heroin.
Fentanyl is odorless, and it’s able to stop a person from feeling pain without losing consciousness. Dopamine is released in the brain, and a feeling of euphoria results (but only lasts a short time).
This is how spooky fentanyl is: the federal government worries about fentanyl being used in things like terrorist attacks as an “incapacitating agent. ” If you’re interested, read more on the First Responders online guide to dealing with a fentanyl threat.
So, what the heck is fentanyl doing on the streets of Dallas, Fort Worth, and other parts of North Texas?
The Fentanyl Heroin Combo
Dallas’ CARE organization lists fentanyl and fentanyl analogues as one of the commonly abused drugs here in the Dallas metroplex. From their site, fentanyl is known in the marketplace here under its prescription drug names of Actiq (oral); Duragesic (patch); and Sublimaze, as well as the following street names:
- China girl
- China white
- dance fever
- murder 8
- Tango & Cash.
Here in the Dallas area, fentanyl is commonly snorted, smoked, or injected. And Dallas’ CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education) should know: it’s a non-profit organization here that works with substance abusers and their families as well as providing community outreach efforts to help people dealing with alcohol and drug abuse issues.
Often, fentanyl isn’t being used or sold by itself here in Dallas; instead, fentanyl is being mixed with other drugs, most likely heroin, and sold in a combo form.
Fentanyl addiction is serious thing: according to Dallas Detox Services, mixing fentanyl with other things (including alcohol) gives a greater high because the other stuff boosts the impact of the fentanyl.
However, abusing fentanyl by combining it with heroin or booze is risky and dangerous and people can die from the high. They can also suffer from hallucinations, breathing problems, dizziness, and other bad side effects.
Fentanyl and Heroin Together Kills People
More and more of the public is becoming aware that it’s very dangerous for someone to use fentanyl and heroin in combination — the euphoric high that comes from this duo brings with it a tremendous danger of dying from the high.
Remember the tragic death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman last year? Well, at first lots of folk thought he was a victim of a fentanyl-heroin combo, but this proved not to be true.
It did help more people become aware of how risky it is, though. And now, as more and more people are dying after taking fentanyl in combination with heroin, there’s a growing public outcry about it.
Fentanyl – Heroin Crimes and Fentanyl – Heroin Arrests in Dallas
Meanwhile, using fentanyl together with heroin remains popular here in Dallas. And in North Texas.
It’s easy to get addicted to fentanyl alone or in combination with heroin, and because the body demands more and more of the drug over time in order to experience a high, tolerance builds.
Things escalate and people who like fentanyl-laced heroin highs often turn to criminal activities to get new fentanyl supplies — this can be anything from stealing stuff to sell to get money for a buy, to shopping around for doctors who will give out fentanyl prescriptions, to prescription fraud.
1. Fraud and Theft Charges
We’re not talking back street addicts here like movies from the 1970s — we’re talking middle class housewives who want more and more fentanyl prescriptions, and college kids (or high school students) who enjoy the high they get from smoking fentanyl and heroin together.
Which means that criminal defense lawyers representing clients who have been arrested on fentanyl-related charges may have an assortment of criminal charges to negotiate: there are the felonies involved with things like fraud or theft, as well as the realities that fentanyl and heroin are both serious felony drugs under DEA drug scheduling.
The fraud and theft charges may be serious felonies in and of themselves, but things get much more serious when you start looking at those Drug Schedules for the drugs themselves.
2. Fentanyl is a Schedule II Drug; Heroin is Schedule I
Illegal drugs are organized in the criminal laws (e.g., the Controlled Substances Act) into different types or “schedules” based upon the risk of that drug to be abused or create a chemical or psychological dependency.
Schedule I drugs are considered to be the highest risk of dependence; Schedule II, almost as dangerous; etc.
Schedule I drugs carry with them the highest punishments; Schedule II, almost as serious in punishment and prison sentences, etc.
Heroin is considered a Schedule I drug, along with marijuana and peyote (among others). As a Schedule II drug, fentanyl is also considered very dangerous (other Schedule II drugs are cocaine, hydrocodone, methamphetamine, and oxycodone).
3. Busted in Dallas: Texas District Attorneys and Federal Prosecutors
Federal prosecutors and local D.A.s who have charged someone with possession of heroin, or fentanyl, or a combination of the two drugs, will be seeking serious jail time along with fines — and that’s if the charges are solely possessing some of this stuff.
When you add other charges, like trying to sell it (distribution); or possession of stolen goods and/or theft charges from actions taken to get money to buy the stuff, then someone caught with even a small amount of fentanyl / heroin can face many, many years of incarceration.
The fact that President Obama recently released some 22 people who were incarcerated on drug-related charges from federal prison is not a signal that people are at less risk of being busted here in Dallas on heroin or fentanyl charges on either state or federal law violations.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a fentanyl-related crime, then it’s a life-altering event. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you work with the prosecution on the charges you face, and also help with arranging medical care or rehab treatment.
One thing: fentanyl is so very serious and scary, the fact that you’re needing a lawyer instead of a doctor — well, that’s a good thing.
For more information see our resources pages on drug crimes as well as Michael Lowe’s Case Results.
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