Synthetic Heroin

We will give you the support and guidance you need to get started on the road of long-term recovery.

Get Help with Addiction Treatment

While the number of opioid prescriptions and opioid overdose deaths has fallen, fatalities from heroin and black-market synthetic heroin and opioids are on the rise, according to research from the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank based in Washington, D.C.

After growing at a 14.3% annual rate between 1999 and 2010, the number of opioids prescribed started to decline by 4.3% per year, and the annual growth rate of prescription opioid overdose deaths dropped from 13.4% before 2010 to 4.8% after.

Start Healing Today!

Choose recovery and take control of your life, it’s the path to a brighter future filled with health, happiness, and fulfillment.

A Void in the Market

With authorities cracking down on opioids and prescribing practices, international cartels identified a gap in the market and are filling it with heroin and potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

When prescription opioids become more difficult to acquire, people turned to whatever alternatives were available. According to the study, “Transnational criminal organizations have been capitalizing on the nation’s rising opioid dependency by producing and distributing an abundant supply of these illicit and lethal opioids.”

Although restrictions on prescription opioids appear to have slowed the growth in overdose fatalities related to those substances, the overall number of opioid-involved overdose fatalities has increased significantly due to an increase in overdose deaths that involve heroin and synthetic opioids. For example, the annual growth rate of heroin deaths skyrocketed from 4.1% before 2010 to 31.2% after, and the growth rate of deaths related to fentanyl climbed from 13.7% in 2010 to 36.5% after.

The sharp increase in overdose fatalities caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl is staggering: Between 2013 and 2016, the number of deaths involving these substances increased by 84.2% each year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Complimentary Insurance Check
Find Out Today!

"*" indicates required fields


Lethal Risks Are Unbeknownst to the End-User

So, what’s the blame for such a sharp increase in fatal overdoses? For starters, many users don’t know what substances they’re using. In some cases, they are unknowingly ingesting lethal amounts of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil, an animal tranquilizer. These deadly synthetic heroin and substances are often cut into heroin or pressed into pills that the end-user believes to be a painkiller or other drug. Even more worrisome: these synthetic drugs are resistant to overdose-reversing substances such as Narcan.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Ben Gitis, director of labor market policy at AAF and co-author of the study, said that although lawmakers need to tackle the surge of illicit opioids into the country, they can’t neglect the core issue at hand: addiction.

“Say policymakers were to start turning more attention to the supply of illicit opioids, heroin and synthetic opioids, which is obviously something that needs to happen,” Gitis said in the interview. “Doing that without addressing dependency could turn users to other types of drugs to use in their addiction.”

Although restrictions on opioid prescribing practices appear to be working, this study reveals additional obstacles to overcome to put an end to the opioid epidemic. Until then, we have to address the root issue of addiction, per Gitis’ recommendations.

Our Locations 

Our Facilities & Teams Transform Lives

Changing lives by providing comprehensive support and rehabilitation, empowering individuals to overcome addiction and regain control of their health and well-being.

At Guardian Recovery, we’ve seen firsthand the devastation the opioid epidemic has caused. Our continuum of care, which includes detox, residential treatment and aftercare, has equipped hundreds of people with the tools necessary to sustain lasting recovery. For more information about how our services can help you or someone you care about, contact a Guardian Recovery Specialist at (888) 693-1872.


Do I have an Addiction issue?

Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.


Get Local Help

Helpful, Recovery

Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

More About Author
Guardian Recovery

Check Insurance Coverage

Find out today what options are available to you. Fill out the form below.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

Live a BRIGHTER Future Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

Live a BRIGHTER Future Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

Contact Alumni Services Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing after coming to one of our facilities.

Your Name

Stay in touch ALUMNI

Join our alumni newsletter to get up to date information on events, news, and more.


Personalize Your Experience

Allow us to guide you to the information your looking for.

Begin HEALING Today

Check Insurance Coverage

Find out today what options are available to you. Fill out the form below.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

24/7 Help: (888) 693-1872