Pittsburgh Dealers Use Postage Stamp Bags To Market Heroin


In the illegal drug trade, marketing is key, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The words and images stamped on packets of heroin — from the phrase “Get High or Die Trying” to pictures of cartoon character Scooby-Doo or the Playboy bunny — serve the same purpose as a corporate logo or a familiar jingle in a TV commercial. “It’s a marketing ploy,” said Capt. David Young, director of the state police Drug Law Enforcement Division. “It identifies the product and establishes product loyalty.”

Stamp bags are the most common form of packaging used for individual doses of heroin. New users can get a high from one bag, but experienced users often need multiple bags to get their fix. The glassine bags derive their name from their intended purpose: protecting postage stamps gathered by collectors. When a new batch of especially potent heroin appears on the street — such as the fentanyl-laced heroin in bags labeled “Get High or Die Trying” that has caused a spate of overdoses and at least six deaths locally — it’s not long before demand skyrockets. Dealers are “competing for the best product,” said Dr. Neil Capretto, medical director of Gateway Rehabilitation Center. “The word on the street is that this is the strongest stuff, so demand is high. I think the dealers, especially the high-level ones, know exactly what they’re doing.”

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06159/696634-85.stm

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