How Prohibition Makes Heroin More Dangerous

Reason
Feb. 06, 2014

An old best friend from childhood just died of a heroin OD two weeks ago. He's the third young man in my grade who has died specifically from heroin OD. After the government made oxy-contin rock solid and virtually impossible to take recreationally they all switched to heroin for 1/12th the cost. Unfortunately, due to prohibition it's not made by a pharmaceutical company but vagrant drug dealers who don't have million dollar faculties to rid it of all impurities and assure perfectly regulated doses. - ChrisBecause someone famous died in Manhattan from an apparent heroin overdose on Sunday, The New York Times has a front-page story today about "a city that is awash in cheap heroin." How cheap? The Times says a bag of heroin, which typically contains about 100 milligrams, "can sell for as little as $6 on the street." Yet it also reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York office last year "seized 144 kilograms of heroin...valued at roughly $43 million." Do the math ($43 million divided by 144,000 grams), and that comes out to about $300 per gram, or $30 for a 100-milligram bag--six times the retail price mentioned higher in the same story. So how did the DEA come up with that $43 million estimate? Apparently by assuming that all of the heroin it seized would have ended up in New England, where a "$6 bag in the city could fetch as much as $30 or $40."

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