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Hello again!

Just to say we have been having reports from Leeds service users of difficulties obtaining illicit heroin in Leeds (and they also say, Bradford) - and that what is out there 'is crap'.

I saw someone yesterday for a re-start one week off prescribed buprenorphine who was using either illicit buprenorphine or heroin, whichever he could get hold of. He said he had sourced bup for the most but day before had to use 'heroin': smoked one bag - had no effect; so smoked another - which sent him off to sleep. When I saw him next day he was in w/d - and tested neg for opiates (pos for bup from 2 days before) - but pos for benzo's, which he denied taking. So whatever he smoked 2 bags of, it wasn't an opiate - but was probably cut with benzo's.

Is anyone else hearing about heroin shortages +/- substances sold as heroin, but which are turning out to be something else?

Thanks,
Mark
 
Posts: 29 | Location: Leeds | Registered: 12 September 2005Report This Post
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Same in Barnsley.
 
Posts: 2651 | Location: Barnsley Yorkshire | Registered: 01 June 2004Report This Post
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same in Halifax, guy for restart was opiate negative (but street methadone positive) and had had 2 'bags' of heroin the day before
 
Posts: 555 | Location: Hebden Bridge | Registered: 02 May 2007Report This Post
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Several of my clients have reported a severe shortage in Leeds. One I saw yesterday said he bought some heroin and when he cooked it up and pulled it up into the barrel the liquid solidified really quickly. Fortunately he decided not to try and inject it at that point!
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Leeds | Registered: 10 November 2010Report This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by AnnaW:
Several of my clients have reported a severe shortage in Leeds. One I saw yesterday said he bought some heroin and when he cooked it up and pulled it up into the barrel the liquid solidified really quickly. Fortunately he decided not to try and inject it at that point!


Anna, just heard that today and another old client just turned up today. I think i've seen three old faces so far this week.
 
Posts: 2651 | Location: Barnsley Yorkshire | Registered: 01 June 2004Report This Post
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Yes I can think of two people recently who tested negative when they thought they were going to be positive. Its interesting that they hadn't noticed the lack of "hit". With one of them, it was probably because he is too drunk to notice.
 
Posts: 184 | Location: Harrogate | Registered: 04 March 2003Report This Post
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Maybe the 'hit' was benzo. I have seen a few having had dodgy gear in last 2 days & denied taking benzo's - but have tested positive for benzo's. The latest person I have just seen showed mixed signs of sedation and (I presume) opiate w/d - so I think more of the same.Only the one still who tested neg for opiates though.
I am feeling the need to be more cautious with titration at the moment.
 
Posts: 29 | Location: Leeds | Registered: 12 September 2005Report This Post
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Hi Mark.
No,both their urines were neg for benzos too. I think perhaps it illustrates how much of the drug using experience is down to set and setting as much as drug. I can't help thinking there is a treatment / prevention opportunity in here somewhere. Good point about titration.
 
Posts: 184 | Location: Harrogate | Registered: 04 March 2003Report This Post
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working in Barnsley and Leeds I have seen people turn up to appointments that would not normally, including a small time dealer... and asking for increases. A couple of people saying that they needed a £10 bag instead of a a £5, as it wasnt running on the foil as easily.
There has been a thread on one of the google groups I am on, talking about a drought, appears to be in various areas of the country...and more than one person has told me about a siezure on the M62 corridor.. not seen it in the press though
 
Posts: 158 | Location: West Yorkshire | Registered: 04 December 2006Report This Post
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Had one on Fridsy. Regular heroin and alcohol user. Reported using heroin on Wednesday. Urine pos for Benzodiazepine only, which they have never used. Recently run of positive for Op and Bzd in people who report only heroin and dislike Bzd. We assumed the heroin was being cut with Bzd. Looks like it is now at 100%.
 
Posts: 523 | Location: West Yorkshire UK | Registered: 08 February 2002Report This Post
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Hmm
When i was using (seven years ago) and times like this came around the dangers associated with these 'non opiate' heroin batches was enormous, esp if IDU with crack. The hit was 'nasty' and the last one i saw was pure poison. We called it 'black bag heroin'... hailing from the production process. A load of substances akin to a shaman's mix thrown into a bin bag and shaken, not strirred, for as long as the poor 'shaker' could manage. No mask for them.
I had a problem and a penchant for Benzos and Barbs before them but this stuff... i cannot imagine what BZ is used???
Judith or Sally mentioned a treatment opp here. Public Health would be my approach as these 'batches' destroy ppl far quicker than any of the subs we have problems with.
I remember these times were very dark times not only due to lack of good opiates but also the 'gear' creates a negative collective as it spreads like a super virus.


Tony Birt
SevernSense
 
Posts: 660 | Location: West Midlands | Registered: 20 February 2006Report This Post
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Guardian article .. nothing official yet from the powers-that-be.
 
Posts: 390 | Location: London | Registered: 16 February 2009Report This Post
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We'd heard that one of the components of the almost heroin-free heroin that's around was methadone; and this has been borne out today by a man who had used no methadone at all but whose urine was positive. This was clinically important since he was about to start buprenorphine treatment.
And then... we hear that in Sheffield there is now some extra-strong heroin coming into circulation.
It's all very worrying.
 
Posts: 184 | Location: Harrogate | Registered: 04 March 2003Report This Post
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I’ve been in the office at NTA this week and asked them what they had heard. They have been monitoring the situation (including our forum posts) and they are receiving information about the heroin shortage and adulteration via their regional harm reduction leads. Anecdotal reports suggest an increase in presentations to treatment (new presentations and those who have not presented for some time). NTA are working with DH and HPA to monitor the situation carefully and decide what to do next. But there isn't anything very new or specific to say - the usual harm reduction advice would apply: around overdose awareness, and looking out for adverse effects - smoking substances before injecting them may be a good way to determine whether any adverse effects may occur, and reduce the risk of overdose. I will keep talking to NTA harm reduction people about this so that if there is a national alert SMMGP will be able to immediately to inform our members.
 
Posts: 390 | Location: London | Registered: 16 February 2009Report This Post
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We have the heroin drought in Kirklees as well, with the obvious concerns about adulterated products, benzos being sold as heroin etc, and the big worry about reduced tolerance and ODs when the Sheffield pure batches reach West Yorks.

On the plus side, however, I have talked to many clients who are long term 'harm min' rather than abstinent on their methadone, and who see this as an opportunity to become abstinent from street drugs ('its not worth buying'). We are trying to capitalise on this for long-term 'users on top', and so far it seems to be working, with good numbers of people really chuffed to be producing their first ever negative toxicologies (for morphine anyway).

Ever the optimist!!

Jacki
 
Posts: 30 | Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire, England | Registered: 26 July 2002Report This Post
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Nothing pure has reached Barnsley from Sheffield.
 
Posts: 2651 | Location: Barnsley Yorkshire | Registered: 01 June 2004Report This Post
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I like your thinking Jacki! With strong anti-OD advice of course (especially with the Sheffield batch looming)

surprisingly nothing on Alliance news page nor NTA
 
Posts: 555 | Location: Hebden Bridge | Registered: 02 May 2007Report This Post
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There's a lot of discussion going on about it on the Alliance forum
 
Posts: 390 | Location: London | Registered: 16 February 2009Report This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by susi:
I like your thinking Jacki! With strong anti-OD advice of course (especially with the Sheffield batch looming)

surprisingly nothing on Alliance news page nor NTA


Some of my patients have been to sheffield and nothing of interest came from there.
 
Posts: 2651 | Location: Barnsley Yorkshire | Registered: 01 June 2004Report This Post
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Tony Birt,
Good Post, I can not see a benzo subing for any opiate.
Also the arguument about fooling yourself high... bullshit!
There are stronger sleepers/downers than benzos, do you people test for those?
Get hold of samples and send them to the lab, spend some money, few junkies tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Its a lab rat approach to gain knowledge from the blood of the doomed.
Selah.
 
Posts: 5 | Location: SW | Registered: 05 December 2010Report This Post
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