Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Coroner: Killer Heroin Isn’t From Mexico

I got in a discussion (argument is just a bit too strong) with an Associated Press reporter yesterday (Hi, Sophia). It became rapidly apparent that she had already written her article and wanted only quotes and information that went along with what she had decided the story was.

She called to ask about the recent increase in heroin deaths that has occurred here in Lake County, an increase that I have attributed to (and demonstrated with testing) an increase in purity or strength of our heroin on the street. She asked the usual questions about the ages of the victims, other demographic information, and about them dying nearly instantly upon injecting. It all seemed to be going along fine as fact finding until she asked where I thought the heroin was coming from.

I told her that based on the fact that it is white heroin that it comes from Colombia or Asia (and that in turn based on Department of Justice information). She then asked about heroin from Mexico. I explained that Mexican heroin is either brown or black and not white. She pushed the Mexican source theory, “because of all the violence at the border”. I explained that while some of the Colombian heroin may come through Mexico; the stuff we are seeing is not Mexican in origin. “It has to be”, she replied. I explained that most Colombian and Asian heroin does not come through Mexico, but directly into the US in other ways. Violence or not, her preconceived notions or not, the heroin on our “streets” is not Mexican. She quickly ended the interview at that point, asking if there was anyone else she could talk to in the County, undoubtedly looking for someone to support her incorrect thoughts on the matter.

So no matter what she ultimately reports, I want you to know that white heroin (the predominant type used east of the Mississippi) is from Colombia and, in ever growing amounts, from Southwest and Southeast Asia. The black tar and brown powder stuff more used to the west is the stuff from Mexico.

File under: fun facts to know and tell.


Anonymous said...


I thought this was interesting -

Dr. Richard Keller said...

The link above is to an article entitled:

Helping doctors ask about drug, alcohol problems

Boogie said...

I haven't looked at this blog in awhile, but it is so funny to read the heroin story. Not that heroin is funny, but I was just telling my friend Karen ( green dragonfly ) that I read the article and I couldn't believe it said the potent heroin was from Mexico. I will have Karen read this blog... :-)

Gledwood said...

What an idiotic woman. If she had done the most basic research she would have known the white heroin in America is most likely of Colombian origin.

So were these people dying with the needle still literally sticking in their body? Ugh. Do you know whether most of them were addicts? Or is it a plague of "novice" users messing around with hard drugs and needles.

I myself am a heroin addict and it bemuses me why anyone would want to try the stuff. I still don't get why I was stupid enough to try it, but I was and here I am, still addicted over a decade later...

Dr. Richard Keller said...

Pretty much novice users in these cases