Jack Shafer of at Slate spots the “Stupid Drug Story of the Week — The Associated Press on the arrival of ‘deadly, ultra-pure heroin:'”
Yesterday, the Associated Press moved a story completely devoid of historical context. The piece, titled “Deadly, Ultra-Pure Heroin Arrives in U.S.,” claims that in “recent years”—a time frame that goes undefined—Mexican dealers have started peddling “ultra-potent” black tar heroin and are selling it for as little as $10 a bag.
In alarmist prose, the article asserts that the ultra-smack’s purity ranges from 50 percent to 80 percent heroin, up from the 5 percent purity of the 1970s, and this potency is “contributing to a spike in overdose deaths across the nation.” But reports of high-potency heroin being sold in the United States are anything but “recent.” My source? The AP itself. Over the decades, the wire service has repeatedly reported on the sale of high-potency heroin on the streets. Here are a few examples of AP coverage culled from Nexis.
Click over for quotes from AP articles on this topic going back to 1985 — which is right around time I remember it being mentioned in a Miami Vice episode.
(If you want to don your Wayfayers and an unconstructed pastel jacket, you can watch it here.)