NEW JERSEY (FOX5NY) - The effort to address the opioid and heroin crisis is going on in Newark like many places in the United States. Fox 5 wanted to get an idea of what is happening on a grassroots level.
Tino Fuentes is a former drug user and seller. These days he is using his knowledge of the drug culture and his passion for people to prevent overdoses. But it is not easy.
Dealers looking to maximize profits are cutting heroin with fentanyl, a drug 50 times stronger than heroin and 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. The combo is often deadly.
Using test strips with a little water, Fuentes can test heroin on the streets. His work is happening all over our area, from Philadelphia to the Bronx and also in Newark. He said that about 8 out of 10 bags are testing positive. Fuentes said his goal today is to keep people alive. Then maybe tomorrow is the day they decide to go to detox.
Fuentes said that trying to kick a drug habit feels 100 worse than the flu that makes you not want to leave the bed. He said fentanyl is making it even harder.