Is there a safe way to use street opioids? Elizabeth Tracey reports


A myth often heard on the street is that using opioid drugs like heroin or fentanyl by inhaling them, snorting them or ingesting them is less likely to result in overdose than injection. This myth may be behind new CDC data showing that the majority of overdose fatalities from such drugs in 2022 resulted from these methods rather than injection . Substance use disorder expert Michael Fingerhood at Johns Hopkins says there’s another fear.

Fingerhood: It's the fear of overdose from potency of fentanyl and the fear of wounds has shifted more use to non injection and perhaps prevented what we used to think was a natural progression from non injection to injection use. And certainly I've seen many overdoses in people who have not injected. The other factor which is pretty scary is that the fentanyl is so cheap, it's so cheap that people will stay with non injection use thinking that it's safer.  :30

Fingerhood notes that users are okay with having to use more often if they perceive it’s safer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.