Heroin Brand “Hollywood” Allegedly Causing Overdoses in Keene and Mass.

Brian Costa, Keene Police Chief

Brian Costa, Keene Police Chief

According to new Keene Police Chief Brian Costa, the holiday weekend saw multiple heroin overdoses in Keene and Western Massachusetts from a batch of heroin allegedly branded “Hollywood”. Please get the word out to anyone you know that may be a user to beware of the Hollywood brand.

Kudos to Brian for taking the time to reach out with the news this afternoon. I support harm reduction, and getting the word out about bad drugs can accomplish that, while arresting users can increase the harm to their lives. Hopefully we’ll see Keene police doing more informing rather than arresting and prosecuting in the future.

Inconsistency in heroin quality batch-to-batch is a consequence of the black market created by the war on drugs, which leads to accidental overdose. If heroin were legal, as it was a few generations ago, then the purity would be lab-controlled. No one has to worry about overdosing on aspirin, unless that’s their intention.

I look forward to the day when heroin, a useful medical drug in many ways, can be sold legally through people who care about quality and their customers. A day when people who are addicted to drugs aren’t afraid to seek help for fear of being prosecuted and imprisoned by the state.

Until that day, I’m happy to assist Keene police when they are doing something helpful. Further, thanks to Brian for treating me like a human being, unlike his predecessor.

Now you can subscribe to Free Keene via email!

Don't miss a single post!


53 Comments

  1. waiting for jumpin jax bad comment 🙂

  2. One of the unintended consequences of heroin busts is it can (at least temporarily) increase crime.

    In response to a temporary reduction in the supply of a given commodity, whether it’s an illegal substance or not, is that the price usually goes up.

    Yet, in the case of heroin, when supply is reduced, the demand for it doesn’t go down, therefore the addict has to “work harder” to get more money to afford his drug. If the addicts “work” is crime to get his money for his drug, crime will increase.

    Prohibition causes many other unintended consequences as well. Who do you think pays to incarcerate and house people convicted of drugs?

  3. Heroin will never be made legal. It is not used as an adjunct in any medical setting. All illegal drugs have no useful purpose. Look at krokodil. It is coming into America and destroying lives. Cocaine, crack, crank, molly, heroin, and the list goes on and on has a very high addiction rate and high death rate. Remember Gov. Hussan, she is very strict regarding these drugs in her state.

  4. @Jumping Jacks: Morphine is a prescription painkiller. Heroin is just one form of morphine. The only appreciable difference between diacetyl morphine (heroin) and morphine sulfate or any of the other salts is the legal status. Morphine sulfate, hydromorphone, etc. are just analogs of morphine to get around the ban on the diacetyl analog (but when drug companies do it and rake in the dough, apparently making analogs to get around bans is suddenly a good thing!).

    The rest of your post similarly shows your total lack of understanding of medicine. Amazing, for a self-proclaimed medical professional who supposedly specializes in drug rehab, huh? For example you list cocaine, which is not only theoretically useful in medicine, but is actually a prescription medicine in the United States and in many other countries, being used as a topical anesthetic in a variety of procedures. About a third of a million grams of cocaine are produced legally in the US every year.

  5. @Jumping Jacks

    I have one thing to add to Flint’s excellent rebuttal. Heroin (under the generic name Diamorphine) has been used legally as an analgesic in the United Kingdom for over 100 years. It’s commonly prescribed for use in pain-management for patients suffering from post-surgical pain, acute myocardial infarctions, and terminal illnesses.

    Those look like medical settings to me, Jacks. What do you think?

    Here’s some advice, Jacks. Give up this nonsense. You’re not going to convince anyone here that you’ve received specialized medical training. The fact that you’ve lied about that has become common knowledge here. Slipping in medical jargon like “adjunct” now and then isn’t going to convince anyone that you were actually telling the truth.

  6. If you had any idea what the effect if articles like this actually have on users, you’d realize how utterly stupid you are for writing this. Telling addicts that a certain stamp is killing people doesn’t make them stay away from it. If it’s killing people, that means it’s strong, which means it gets you higher, which in turn makes then want it even more. Ask you’re doing is advertising for whatever dealer is putting this shit out there. Good job!!

  7. @Graves: And if they know that it’s stronger, that means they… know to take less of it, and don’t die.

    It’s not that the particular type is somehow poisonous. It’s just stronger, so it takes less to achieve the same result. This would not be an issue if the drug was legal and there were labeling standards. Tylenol is far more dangerous than heroin (the amount that causes a lethal overdose is much closer to the amount needed to obtain the painkilling effect than for heroin overdose compared to getting high), but Tylenol overdoses are extremely rare compared to heroin overdoses, because you know precisely how much drug is in each pill, instead of playing a guessing game.

    Why can Tylenol be sold on the shelves, safely? Not because it’s a safe drug – it’s horribly dangerous – but solely because it’s labeled appropriately. Heroin, labeled to similar standards, would be far safer than Tylenol.

  8. I’m still laughing at the big lie JumpingJacks told about how he asked his local Walmart if they sold the Derrick J movie.

  9. “I look forward to the day when heroin, a useful medical drug in many ways, can be sold legally through people who care about quality and their customers.”

    Not that we needed any additional evidence … but it’s quite obvious that you are a moron of epic proportions.

  10. “Not because it’s a safe drug – it’s horribly dangerous – but solely because it’s labeled appropriately. Heroin, labeled to similar standards, would be far safer than Tylenol.”

    Absolutely untrue, you fucking idiot.

  11. @Eddie: Don’t try to talk about subjects you don’t even vaguely understand. The therapeutic index (the ratio of the overdose dosage to the effective dosage) is 70:1 for heroin. In other words, if it normally takes some particular amount to get you high, it would take 70 times that amount to kill you by overdose. If you know how much heroin is in the product you have (the active drug is always mixed with a filler, whether it’s produced by a pharmaceutical company or an “amateur”), it woukd be essentially impossible to accidentally overdose. “Oh, I normally take one pill, but today, I think I’ll try taking 70 pills!” It’s an absurd idea.

    For drugs like alcohol, the index is much smaller. Around 10:1. Someone who is used to drinking low-proof beverages like beer can easily develop alcohol poisoning if they switch to hard liquor without considering the difference in dosage. Just ask any ER in a college town.

    The exact therapeutic index for Tylenol depends on several factors, but is well below that of alcohol. Ususally below 5:1, except for patients who have exceptionally-healthy livers. If you normally take six Tylenol, thirty could kill you (or fewer – ten “maximum strength” pills could easily be fatal). It’s a very dangerous drug. But, since you know exactly how much is in each pill, you still cannot accidentally overdose, because five pills are obviously more than one.

    Heroin overdoses occur because any given dose could have far more than you expect. Possible hundreds of times as much.

  12. Drac and Flint – Al though your ridiculous antics bring me great pleasure you obviously do not know the facts. Heroin is not used in any medical scenario anywhere including Great Britain. What you saw was a miss informed joke. If you don’t believe me, call any hospital in England and ask if they use morphine. I promise you there isn’t. Heroin was invented in the late 19th century for tuberculosis. It did more damage then what it was made for. Morphine and Heroin are considered opiods but are not classified the same. Morphine is a schedule one where Heroin is a schedule 1. You can make up as much information as you want but again, I assure you heroin will never be made legal. It’s a useless schedule one drug. Watch the show “Intervention” on LMN I believe The show will answer your questions and educate you on the serious effects of these illegal drugs.

  13. @Jumping Jacks: Thanks for letting slip the source of your delusions of running a rehab center. It explains a lot. Sorry, but watching shows on Lifetime in your parents’ basement does not make you a medical professional.

    Your claims regarding diamoorphine in Britain are ludicrous. Even if you had no better source than Wikipedia (presumably, since you clearly have no medical background whatsoever, you probably don’t have access to any superior sources), you could find out that was false. I just checked, and the Wikipedia article actually links to a NHS paper from 2011 describing the use of diamorphine relative to caesarean section – as the standard drug, not even as an alternate.

    Diamorphine (heroin) is the standard in the UK. Hydromorphone and morphine sulfate are the standards in the US. All are morphine – just slightly different analogs. Anyone with even the most rudimentary medical training would know that they are used extensively. Hydromorphone and MS are dispensed so regularly that I doubt there’s any pharmacy in America which doesn’t stock one or the other, if not both.

  14. Speaking of drug schedules, did anyone know the state of New Hampshire never published the drug schedule they never made (but were supposed to) in newspapers so that people would know which drugs were illegal?

    The State illegally arrested and convicted and jailed people for years. RSA 21:32 is the state statute that deals with statutory construction and details how publication was supposed to happen, yet never did.

    In 2011 hidden inside the Governor’s budget bill was an amendment to RSA 21:32 attempting to cover their tracks. I guess they thought they could hide it there…

    A concise reading and understanding of RSA 318-B and RSA 21:32 can only lead to the conclusion that the state never followed it’s own law regarding informing the public what was illegal. Can you say “void for vagueness” ?

    Any Lawyer types that want to learn more simply need to ask me and I can walk you thru it.

  15. @Jumping Jacks

    “Heroin is not used in any medical scenario anywhere including Great Britain. ”

    This is untrue, Jacks. Heroin is prescribed as an analgesic under the generic name Diamorphine. It is perfectly legal to prescribe it for use in pain-management in the UK.

    “Morphine is a schedule one where Heroin is a schedule 1.” (sic)

    Morphine is a Schedule II drug, not a Schedule I. You make a lot of errors in your posts when the subject of drugs comes up, Jacks. Are you just as detail-oriented in your work as a drug-addiction specialist?

    “I assure you heroin will never be made legal.”

    More predictions of the future, Jacks? You haven’t been too successful with your predictions in the past. With such a poor track record, what makes you so certain that this one will come true?

    “It’s a useless schedule one drug.”

    Except for the fact that it’s prescribed as an analgesic in the UK.

    “Watch the show “Intervention” on LMN I believe The show will answer your questions and educate you on the serious effects of these illegal drugs.”

    “Intervention” was televised on A&E, Jacks, and a staged reality show is hardly the educational source that a drug-addiction specialist should be citing to prove their point. I guess it’s pretty obvious now where all of your information on drug-addiction comes from, and it doesn’t look like it’s from peer-reviewed medical journals.

  16. @Jumping Jacks: Thanks for letting slip the source of your delusions of running a rehab center. It explains a lot. Sorry, but watching shows on Lifetime in your parents’ basement does not make you a medical professional.

    Your claims regarding diamoorphine in Britain are ludicrous. Even if you had no better source than Wikipedia (presumably, since you clearly have no medical background whatsoever, you probably don’t have access to any superior sources), you could find out that was false. I just checked, and the Wikipedia article actually links to a NHS paper from 2011 describing the use of diamorphine relative to cesarean section – as the standard drug, not even as an alternate.

    Diamorphine (heroin) is the standard in the UK. Hydromorphone and morphine sulfate are the standards in the US. All are morphine – just slightly different analogs. Anyone with even the most rudimentary medical training would know that they are used extensively. Hydromorphone and MS are dispensed so regularly that I doubt there’s any pharmacy in America which doesn’t stock one or the other, if not both.

  17. Hey I’ve got a question. Your buddy Rich Paul thinks that there is nothing wrong with using heroin, among other asshats that are part of Free Keene. So doesn’t this “public announcement ” from Free Keene seem quite warped in its thinking? Well to answer my question, you all are quite warped in everything you think is right and true. Fucking idiots!

  18. @Flint

    Opiate overdoses have also been on the rise because of supply interruptions. To continue supplying their customers with opiates, some black market entrepreneurs have turned to lacing their heroin products with more readily-available opiates like fentanyl, which has forty-five times the potency of heroin.

  19. @Jumping Jacks

    “Heroin is not used in any medical scenario anywhere including Great Britain. ”

    This statement is untrue, Jacks. Heroin is prescribed as an analgesic under the generic name Diamorphine. It is perfectly legal to prescribe it for use in pain-management in the UK.

    “Morphine is a schedule one where Heroin is a schedule 1.” (sic)

    Morphine is a Schedule II drug, not a Schedule I. You make a lot of careless errors in your posts, Jacks, especially when the subject of drugs comes up. Assuming you’re not doing this deliberately, do you show the same level of attention to detail in your work as a drug-addiction specialist?

    “I assure you heroin will never be made legal.”

    More predictions concerning the future, Jacks? You haven’t been too successful with your predictions in the past. With such a poor track record, what makes you so certain that this one will come true?

    “It’s a useless schedule one drug.”

    Except for the fact that Diamorphine is prescribed as an analgesic in the UK.

    “Watch the show “Intervention” on LMN I believe The show will answer your questions and educate you on the serious effects of these illegal drugs.”

    The show Intervention was televised on A&E, Jacks; and a staged reality show is hardly the educational source that a drug-addiction specialist like yourself should be citing to prove their point. I guess it’s pretty obvious now where much of your experience with treating drug-addiction comes from, and it doesn’t look like any of it is from on-the-job experience or peer-reviewed medical journals.

  20. “Heroin is not used in any medical scenario anywhere including Great Britain. ”

    This statement is untrue, Jacks. Heroin is prescribed as an analgesic under the generic name Diamorphine. It is perfectly legal to prescribe it for use in pain-management in the UK.

    “Morphine is a schedule one where Heroin is a schedule 1.” (sic)

    Morphine is a Schedule II drug, not a Schedule I. You make a lot of careless errors in your posts, Jacks, especially when the subject of drugs comes up. Assuming you’re not doing this deliberately, do you show the same level of attention to detail in your work as a drug-addiction specialist?

    “I assure you heroin will never be made legal.”

    More predictions concerning the future, Jacks? You haven’t been too successful with your predictions in the past. With such a poor track record, what makes you so certain that this one will come true?

    “It’s a useless schedule one drug.”

    Except for the fact that Diamorphine is prescribed as an analgesic in the UK.

    “Watch the show “Intervention” on LMN I believe The show will answer your questions and educate you on the serious effects of these illegal drugs.”

    The show Intervention was televised on A&E, Jacks; and a staged reality show is hardly the educational source that a drug-addiction specialist like yourself should be citing to prove their point. I guess it’s pretty obvious now where much of your experience with treating drug-addiction comes from, and it doesn’t look like any of it is from on-the-job experience or peer-reviewed medical journals.

  21. Mr. Bsizzle,

    I can’t say for sure if Rich Paul thinks heroin is good, bad, or indifferent, I strongly suspect he believes what people ingest is up to that particular individual. In that vein I call your attention to the fact that Rich didn’t right the article, that another individual did.

    Sometimes when we collectivize and fail to see people as individuals we can come up with erroneous conclusions. Also, it’s not nice to insult people that aren’t insulting you, please try to work on that.

  22. Edit to the above post – “write” , not “right”. Apparently I was suffering tremors from a temporarily unfulfilled coffee addiction. I wonder if coffee is on the NH Controlled drug schedule ? According to the U.S. Surgeon General Report it has killed more people than marijuana (zero deaths) on an annual basis. I’m such a risk taker…now where did I put the creamer?

  23. Bob Constantine – Caffeine is on the drug list. It is mostly used in the NICU for babies that do not support a good respiratory effort. It is not a narcotic.

  24. @Jumping Jacks

    No Jacks. Caffeine is not regulated as a controlled substance.

  25. @Jumping Jacks

    “Heroin is not used in any medical scenario anywhere including Great Britain. ”

    This statement is untrue, Jacks. Heroin is prescribed as an analgesic under the generic name Diamorphine. It is perfectly legal to prescribe it for use in pain-management in the UK.

  26. @Jumping Jacks

    “Morphine is a schedule one where Heroin is a schedule 1.” (sic)

    Morphine is a Schedule II drug, not a Schedule I. You make a lot of careless errors in your posts, Jacks, especially when the subject of drugs comes up. Assuming you’re not doing this deliberately, do you show the same level of attention to detail in your work as a drug-addiction specialist?

  27. @Jumping Jacks

    “I assure you heroin will never be made legal.”

    More predictions concerning the future, Jacks? You haven’t been too successful with your predictions in the past. With such a poor track record, what makes you so certain that this one will come true?

  28. @Jumping Jacks
    “Morphine is a schedule one where Heroin is a schedule 1.” (sic)

    Morphine is a Schedule II drug, not a Schedule I. You make a lot of careless errors in your posts, Jacks, especially when the subject of drugs comes up. Assuming you’re not doing this deliberately, do you show the same level of attention to detail in your work as a drug-addiction specialist?

  29. @Jumping Jacks

    “It’s a useless schedule one drug.”

    Except for the fact that Diamorphine is prescribed as an analgesic in the UK.

  30. @Jumping Jacks

    “Watch the show “Intervention” on LMN I believe The show will answer your questions and educate you on the serious effects of these illegal drugs.”

    The show Intervention was televised on A&E, Jacks; and a staged reality show is hardly the educational source that a drug-addiction specialist like yourself should be citing to prove their point. I guess it’s pretty obvious now where much of your experience with treating drug-addiction comes from, and it doesn’t look like any of it is from on-the-job experience or peer-reviewed medical journals.

  31. @Jumping Jacks, so could you please tell me how a person in NH was supposed to know what was or was not on this mysterious “NH CONTROLLED DRUG SCHEDULE” if the Commissioner of Health and Human Services never published it in a newspaper as RSA 21:32 instructed him to do, prior to July of 2011 ? (It’s a fact it didn’t happen…trust me)

    July of 2011 was when the Governor and his lackeys thought they could clandestinely change that RSA and nobody would notice their coverup, in case you were wondering when the law was changed. They hid the change to RSA 21:32 in the voluminous Governor’s budget bill. Of course anybody arrested prior to that for “controlled drugs” has a legit legal argument that the drug laws are void for vagueness. There is all kinds of case law where void for vagueness has been upheld.

    You don’t think I’ll get busted for drinking coffee do you, because if a person can’t see a list of what’s illegal, how would they know what is or is not prohibited? I’m a little afraid to ask, but do you think Captain Crunch is on that list too….I was just about to “do a bowl” of breakfast cereal and didn’t want to get roused by a swat team of Cereal Killers.

  32. “Don’t try to talk about subjects you don’t even vaguely understand.”

    LoL … Like you have much of a fucking clue about any of this, Flint. Anyone can troll the Internet and find all sorts of data to throw against the wall and see if it sticks. You’re no different in this regard.

    I’m beginning to wonder if you’re a sockpuppet for that other know-nothing asshole Drac; both accounts exhibit too many similarities in their writings.

    The bottom line here is that heroin is illegal and will remain so for the years ahead. Anything else you morons whine about in regards to this simple fact is moot.

  33. @Flint – “It’s just stronger, so it takes less to achieve the same result. This would not be an issue if the drug was legal and there were labeling standards.”

    There is a huge flaw in this argument. In 2013, 51.8% of all drug overdose deaths were from prescription drugs – those drugs that the purity or amount of opiod is known to the user. Despite the user’s knowledge of this, they overdose anyway. If the issue was that user’s did not know the purity, then the majority of drug overdoses would be from non-prescription drugs were the quality and purity is unknown. The issue is the effect of opiods on judgment and the addictive nature. That is why there are not Tylenol overdoses like opiod overdoses (Tylenol doesn’t affect your judgment and you take too much nor does it create an addiction or craving).

    Granted, there would be less overdoses from non-prescription opiods if people were aware of the purity, but that lack of knowledge of purity is not the main cause of overdose (remember 51.8% were from known purities of prescription drugs).

  34. Bob, you really should get that aluminum-foil hat of yours looked at, because It appears the signals are getting scrambled and the paranoid conspiracy attenuator is turned up much to high.

  35. @Eddie, It would be so easy for you to prove me wrong if I WAS wrong, except I’m not. Know why? I have a court order from Merrimack Superior Court from 2011 which agrees with me. It states, “no local (NH) schedule exists” . How ’bout that!?

    It’s also easy to verify what I said about how the RSA for statutory construction (RSA 21:32) was clandestinely changed when it was buried in the Governor’s budget bill. The last part of the law, where they tried to cover their tracks only went into effect in July 2011. Go to NH.GOV and check it out yourself.

    I could go on, but I think your “tinfoil hat” comment was a little premature. It’s not paranoia if you’re right, and I am.

  36. Richard … don’t try confusing Flint with the facts; they get in the way of his idiotic ramblings.

  37. ” I have a court order from Merrimack Superior Court from 2011 which agrees with me. It states, “no local (NH) schedule exists” . How ’bout that!?”

    Well whoop-dee-fucking-doo, Bobby. What is the point of all of your blathering? Oh yeah, now I remember: absolutely nothing.

    Run along now, Bobby and be a good boy.

  38. @ Eddie, the point was the NH bureaucrats didn’t follow their own laws regarding providing the public notice of what they had determined was legal or illegal. In order for a person to be convicted, they are supposed to have an awareness of which substances are deemed “illegal”. That is impossible to determine if a list isn’t first constructed and then made available to the public. Please don’t tell me what to do, I’d never dream of trying to run your life, although I will suggest you work on your manners.

  39. @Richard Bauman

    The problem with reports like these is that they never report the actual cause of the overdose. Recreational users might not be taking the prescription drugs alone and might be mixing them with alcohol or other drugs, overdosing from the combined effects of the cocktail. Yet the study will report the death as being caused by a prescription drug simply because it was detected in the victim.

    You should also consider that many of those reported overdoses could be from legal prescriptions obtained from doctors for legitimate medical issues and not the black market for recreational purposes. Statistics that don’t include the data it’s derived from should be judged with caution, particularly when they’re compiled from government agencies.

    As for your statement that paracetamol overdoses are unlikely due to their lack of affect on judgment? Paracetamol intoxication is the most common cause of liver failure, in part because of public perception that – since it’s readily available over-the-counter – it is relatively safe.

    Liver damage due to paracetamol intoxication is also known to be a potential health risk with oral opioid formulations. As patients develop tolerances to the opioids, they’re forced to increase dosage and risk paracetamol intoxication due to the large amounts of paracetamol (some as high as 650 mg) in these formulations.

  40. Drac – As usual your information is very very wrong. Caffeine is regulated by the FDA except in naturally occurring foods. You really need a lot of education regarding these drugs. Heroin is not being used anywhere in the world’s hospitals for any type of analgesia. I promise you, you are very wrong about that statement. It’s people like you and the rest of the freekeeners who only pick and choose little bits and pieces of what you think something is and then believe you are educated. As I said before, call a UK hospital and ask them about it. If you choose not to follow through, that is your loss.

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/447204-fda-regulations-for-caffeine/

  41. Caffeine is not a scheduled drug, Jacks. FDA regulations pertaining to caffeine content in foods and alcoholic beverages has nothing to do with controlled substances. Caffeine is not a controlled substance. You can buy it without obtaining a prescription. Here’s one source from an online store called “Amazon“. I’m sure you’ve heard of them.

  42. In the UK alone, there are three pharmaceutical manufacturing companies who formulate Diamorphine for prescription sales: Wockhardt, MacFarlan Smith, and Chiron.

  43. Do you think they let their products sit on their shelves until they expire, Jacks, or do you think that they sell them?

  44. All of this information took me less that a minute to find, Jacks. How long did it take you to type your reply? Five minutes? Ten? Yet you still managed to get everything wrong? It’s so strange that a drug addiction specialist like yourself seems to understand so little about drugs and drug regulations, isn’t it Jacks? I hope that you don’t have any other promises for me. Then I’d have to call you a liar.

  45. All of this information took me less that a minute to find, Jacks. How long did it take you to type your reply? Five minutes? Ten?

  46. Yet you still managed to get everything wrong?

  47. It’s so strange that a drug addiction specialist like yourself seems to understand so little about drugs and drug regulations, isn’t it Jacks?

  48. Drac – As usual you are very wrong. The link you provided is out dated and not even used. To actually think heroin is used to help women with the pain of labor is totally ludicrous. Your ignorance is beyond unbelievable. Here is a list of illegal drugs in UK. You will notice Heroin is on it. It is not used in hospitals or prescribed. You have been proven wrong again Drac. You are the failing “Little engine that could” I am not going to argue this with you anymore. I just can’t bring myself to your level of ignorance. When I do a patient intake and educate patients about the effects of drugs, I get $300 per hour. You obviously don’t have that kind of money.

    http://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/teenagers/drugs-alcohol/a-z-guide-to-common-drugs/

Care to comment?