Flush from another record-breaking Afghan opium crop in 2006, heroin dealers seem to have devised a new concoction expressly for the youth market, Cheese.
The combination includes 2%-8% of black tar heroin mixed with diphenhydramine, the antihistamine (and drowse-inducer) in Benedryl and Tylenol PM. CNN is running with the story today, noting that 17 teens have died from the double-downer-whammy since 2005 in the Dallas area.
Cheese reportedly retails for $2 a hit (one-tenth of a gram) or $10 a gram. Doesn't this look like a fire sale among inexperienced heroin dealers? I don't imagine that real junkies could tolerate a 2% level of drug in their cut, so it looks like adult dealers are offloading product to high school kids to play with, who are selling it for next to nothing.
This amount of heroin coming into the country is very troubling. I don't believe it's possible for the US to end the Afghan production of opium, which puts the impetus on us to discover novel ways to minimize the impact of the drugs produced from it. But I'm sure instead we'll return to "just say no" and militarization along the border, which has never worked. Sigh.