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4 Nov, 2021 15:05

Users ‘nostalgic for old-school’ heroin, Vice says, prompting questions about CIA

Users ‘nostalgic for old-school’ heroin, Vice says, prompting questions about CIA

Heroin is almost impossible to get in North America, where it has been virtually replaced by fentanyl, Vice News says – leading some sarcastic commenters to wonder if this means the CIA will ask Congress for more money for coups.

It has become increasingly hard to find heroin in the US and Canada, replaced by the more dangerous synthetic substance. What is sold as heroin in the streets is more often than not laced with fentanyl, according to a Vice report titled ‘Drug Users Are Nostalgic for ‘Old-School Heroin’ as Fentanyl Takes Over’.

“Fentanyl sucks,” one of the upset drug users interviewed by the outlet said. “It doesn’t last long, it doesn’t provide you much euphoria, so it doesn’t offer me much utility. It’s just fentanyl around now, and I fear it’s going to be like that forever.”

The 26-year-old heroin enthusiast moved to Jackson, Tennessee in March to be closer to his dealer and avoid two-hour-long round trips for his drug of choice. Since September, he has not been able to procure any.

The report is full of anecdotes of how heroin has become increasingly rare and expensive. People who want to maintain their habit and avoid the higher risks of overdose associated with fentanyl want some form of legalization, which would give them the option of safer consumption.

Also on rt.com Overdoses soar by nearly 30 PERCENT in US, breaking record for second year in a row – CDC

Heroin, which originates from opium poppies, is unlikely to “make a comeback in a serious way” in North America, the report said. The synthetic competition is cheaper, simpler to make and smuggle. And its formula can be tweaked at a lab for a boost in potency and avoidance of prosecution.

Some of the responses to the article brought up the elephant in the room: the effect of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan on the illegal heroin trade.

While there was a NATO military presence in Afghanistan, poppy growing and heroin production flourished, with US-allied warlords and the families of top Afghan government officials enriching themselves. In some instances, well-connected drug lords would reportedly even direct American efforts to eradicate poppies against the fields of their competitors, in the process pocketing reward money from Washington.

The militant Taliban group, which fully overran Afghan security services in August, made a promise to eradicate heroin production during its charm offensive to foreign nations. In the 1990s, the Taliban government in Kabul launched a brief but efficient crackdown on the heroin trade in an attempt to boost its international recognition. Sceptics doubt the Taliban would be able or even willing to deliver on its pledge.

Also on rt.com The Taliban needs foreign help to eradicate opium trafficking, spokesman tells Russian media

Vice barely mentioned Afghanistan, with a Europe-based biochemist researching opium poppies stating that “Europe’s heroin markets have likely remained intact” against the rise of fentanyl. The omission was commented on by many people, who brought up the CIA’s alleged funding of off-the-books operations with heroin money.

“Called it. Right down to the US press pretending to be baffled by it,” one user remarked, linking to his August prediction of looming shortages of heroin. Another joked that the spy agency will now have to ask the US Congress for more money to fund the “overthrow of socialist South American governments.”

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