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A comparison of heroin (and other illicit opioids) with naloxone, the lifesaving antidote for opioid overdoses, offers a devastating peek into the overdose epidemic that is ravaging the United States.

Let’s start with the price of heroin. In the early 1980s, a gram of pure heroin cost about $2,200. Today that same amount costs less than $500, nearly an 80 percent decrease. A bag of heroin today will set you back about $5, the cost of a pumpkin spice latte. And prices continue to fall with the introduction of new and more powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Compared to heroin, which requires lengthy cultivation of poppy plants and cumbersome processing, fentanyl and its ilk are relatively cheap to make. Humans have been growing poppies and harvesting opium for at least 6,000 years; manufacturing has historically been constrained by the 120-day growth cycle of the opium poppy plant and the distant geography in which it grows.

…continue reading ‘The Costs of Heroin and Naloxone’

Image: By Mpv_51 at English Wikipedia – Transferred from English Wikipedia, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=546164

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