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Risks of Using Purple Heroin: Looks Can be Deceiving

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Purple heroin is a relatively new illicit drug that is responsible for a high rate of overdoses nationwide.  Although no one knows for sure what the drug contains from one batch to the next, the deadly results are unquestionable.  

While the use of heroin in any form is dangerous, purple heroin takes things up a few more notches.  If you or someone you know uses street drugs such as heroin, you need to be aware of the risks involved with this deadly substance.

What Is Purple Heroin (Purp)?

Purple HeroinThe name ‘purple heroin’ refers to heroin that has been mixed with other substances which create the purple tinge.  While some users think the color signifies purity and quality, the opposite is true. 

Any batch of purp can contain one or more of the following substances in varying amounts:

Fentanyl – A synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin.

Carfentanil – An animal sedative intended for large animal sedation, not for human use.  It is about 100 times stronger than fentanyl.

Xylazine – This animal sedative for horses and other large animals is central nervous system depressant.

Acetyl fentanyl – A potent synthetic opioid similar to fentanyl and about 15 times more potent than heroin.

Brorphine – A synthetic opioid similar to fentanyl, but has not accepted medical use.

Buspirone – An anti-anxiety medication.

Acetaminophen – A fever reducer and painkiller found in over-the-counter medications.

Niacinamide – A form of vitamin B3.

Flualprazolam – A benzodiazepine similar to Xanax used to treat anxiety disorders.

Heroin alone is one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets today. But, due to the presence of one or more of these substances in purple heroin, the risk of overdose is much higher.  

Effects and Risks of Using Purple Heroin

The potency of purp is unpredictable because the ingredients change frequently.  Considering the potency of uncut heroin, incorporating additional dangerous chemicals is a recipe for overdose and death.  

Here are examples of different effects experienced by purp users:

Heroin + Acetaminophen and Buspirone:  

  • Heroin side effects such as warm, flushed skin and dry mouth
  • Acetaminophen side effects such as nausea and headache
  • Buspirone side effects such as dizziness and diarrhea

Heroin + Carfentanil:

  • Heroin side effects such as a sense of wellbeing
  • Carfentanil side effects such as euphoria, confusion, hallucinations

The risks of using purple heroin are generally determined by the substances used to cut each batch. Overall, the risks include addiction, overdose, and death.  However, individuals suffer from various physical and mental health issues as well.

Signs of Purp Overdose

The risk of overdose for people who use purple heroin is extremely high due to the combination of potent ingredients.  For instance, fentanyl, xylazine, and carfentanil are so potent that even a small amount can cause a fatal overdose

It’s important to know the warning signs of purple heroin overdose because of the unpredictable nature of the drugs involved.  Someone may use purp once and not have any significant problems, but the next time may be different.  For this reason, the likelihood of an overdose increases.  

The most common signs and symptoms of a purple heroin overdose are:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Discolored tongue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Clammy, blue-tinged skin
  • Bluish lips and fingernails
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

If someone displays these symptoms, contact emergency services right away.  Also, Naloxone (Narcan) can help reverse overdose if given in time.  However, if fentanyl is present, it may take more than one dose of Narcan to get the desired effects.

Treatment for Purple Heroin Addiction at Design for Change Recovery 

Heroin, and the other drugs in purple heroin, are highly addictive.  If you discover that you rely on the drug to even feel normal, it is a sign that you are addicted.  Some of the signs of purple heroin addiction are the same as an addiction to most other drugs.  

The signs of addiction may include mood swings, irritability, lack of motivation, social isolation, poor hygiene, trouble concentrating, and withdrawal symptoms.  When these warning signs appear, it’s time to seek addiction treatment.

Treatment for purple heroin addiction at Design for Change Recovery includes a comprehensive approach utilizing evidence-based therapies.  We provide customized treatment plans for each client based on their particular needs.

To learn more about our fully licensed and credentialed program, contact our Lancaster, CA facility by phone, email, or online.  Our treatment advisors will talk to you about our program, verify your insurance, and recommend a program that is right for you.

Sources:– Heroin Overdose Data – Carfentanil: A Dangerous New Factor in the U.S. Opioid Crisis

Risks of Using Purple Heroin: Looks Can be Deceiving