Your friend recently died from an apparent heroin overdose. At first, you accept it because it comes with the crowd you spend time with. Hearing so-and-so died of an overdose comes every once in a while. It’s sad, but doesn’t affect you anymore. That was until the toxicology report said fentanyl was found in their system. Your friend would never knowingly take this. They would always brag about only taking pure heroin. You suspect someone laced their heroin to save money or increase the high. This is called hot shot heroin, and it is sometimes referred to as gray death.
In 2017, hot shot heroin was found in three states connected to Tennessee by one highway: Kentucky, Georgia, and Ohio. This makes it very easy for it to enter Tennessee and be used unknowingly by those who are using heroin. The gray, concrete-like material is its signature appearance, but it can be difficult to know what is in it. This makes it important for those who have a heroin use disorder to seek a way to recover. At ReVIDA® Recovery, we understand that this process can be difficult, but we’re here to help you reclaim your life. With our several locations throughout Tennessee and Virginia, you can find help close to where you live.
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What Is a Heroin Hot Shot?
Hot shot heroin is a dose of heroin that is mixed with poisonous substances, such as fentanyl, and is gray in color. It looks similar to concrete. It was initially found in the South as early as 2017 and has passed through states such as Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. A heroin hot shot intends to kill the person taking the substance. It is often a mixture of substances advertised as one substance. Heroin is taken in various ways such as smoking, injecting, and snorting.
The Effects of a Heroin Hot Shot
A heroin hot shot will cause you to experience effects such as tiredness, difficulty moving, and hypoventilation. If it is enough to cause an overdose, you might experience grunting noises, bluish lips, and an irregular pulse. Some heroin side effects come with taking a heroin hot shot. These include:
- Dry mouth
- Falling in and out of consciousness
- Slowed breathing
- Flushed skin color
The Makings of Hot Shot Heroin
Hot shot heroin is created by mixing liquid heroin or other forms of heroin and a poisonous substance such as carfentanil, which is used to tranquilize elephants to create a lethal dose with the intention of death. It is often found in a gray powder that looks like concrete. No two batches of hot shot heroin are the same, as there is no set recipe for the substance. The consumer never knows what is in it or how much of each substance is in it.
Signs of a Hot Shot Overdose
Hot shot heroin can have the same signs as other heroin overdoses. These are some of the signs to look out for:
- Pale face
- Falling out of a chair
- Inability to talk
- Limp or rigid body
People who experience an overdose caused by a heroin hot shot might need up to 10 doses of Narcan® (naloxone) to recover. This is because the respiratory system can have more severe problems due to a heroin hot shot compared to other heroin overdoses.
In Tennessee, under the Good Samaritan law, you can help anyone experiencing a medical emergency. This means you seek help without fear of legal repercussions for possession or use. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing a heroin overdose, call 911 immediately.
Dangers of Heroin Hot Shots
The biggest danger of heroin hot shots is overdose and death. Those who take a heroin hot shot do not know what they are taking. In some cases, they might be taking something that they never intended to take because they were under the impression that it was either just a stronger form of pure heroin or it was their usual dose.
Getting Treatment for Heroin Use Disorder in Eastern Tennessee
The best way to avoid encountering a heroin hot shot is to seek heroin addiction treatment. Treatment from heroin can look different for everyone, but they can include similar steps.
Taking the first step in recovering from a heroin use disorder can be difficult and scary, as it often involves a heroin detox. In detox, you may experience heroin withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Stomach pain
- Hot and cold flashes
- Unpredictable moods
This process is necessary for your body to remove heroin from your system, and these symptoms are a part of the process. While they might feel uncomfortable, your body must undergo this process to recover successfully. Everyone will experience different symptoms and might even experience symptoms that are not listed, and that experience will still be normal. This process will start in the first 6-12 hours after your last dose of heroin. These symptoms will typically last for 4-10 days, although they could last longer depending on how long and how much heroin you consumed.
How severe your withdrawal symptoms are depends on various situations. These include how long you have used heroin and the amount of heroin you used. Someone who has taken very little heroin and started last month will have less severe withdrawal symptoms than someone who has taken larger doses of heroin for years. This is because the more often you use heroin, the more your brain and body become used to it. By detoxing, your body will no longer get something it has grown accustomed to.
The good news is that in addition to your treatment, you might be prescribed Suboxone® (buprenorphine) to help lessen the effects of withdrawal symptoms. It can make the recovery process easier in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
During CBT, you will begin to recognize your thought patterns and learn how to cope and change those thoughts. In addition to CBT, you might also experience group therapy, where you will be connected with a group of people going through the same thing you are going through. This will give you a safe space with people who can hold you accountable.
At ReVIDA® Recovery in Tennessee, everyone will know your name because we know how important it is to be supported on your journey to recovery. It often feels lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. We promote a safe environment that encourages you to recover. For more information, call us at 423-631-0432 today.
What’s a hot shot?
A hot shot is a mixed substance that resembles a gray concrete mix. You wouldn’t know what is in it or how much of those substances are in it when you consume it, and batches will differ. Carfentanil, used to tranquilize elephants, is a common added ingredient and can kill a person who takes it.
How long does a hot shot last?
It is hard to determine how long a hot shot would last because you cannot determine exactly how much of a substance you are consuming or what substances you are consuming. This also makes it very dangerous because a hot shot is unpredictable and can be deadly with just one dose.
What is a hot shot used for?
A hot shot is often used to kill the person who takes it. It might be used to target certain people or just in general. It will often cause an overdose or death after one dose. If someone you love is experiencing an overdose due to a hot shot, they might need several doses of Narcan® (naloxone) to save their lives due to respiratory problems that a hot shot can cause.