Nikki Sixx says a spate of heroin-related deaths in the US “just breaks my heart.”
The former Motley Crue and current Sixx AM bassist is himself a recovering addict, having struggled with substance abuse earlier in his career. He was once declared clinically dead after a heroin overdose in 1987.
And he says street drugs cut with other substances have changed the game when it comes to getting high.
Sixx’s comments come on the back of recent statistics which show heroin is more often than not laced with a powerful synthetic called fentanyl – which in itself is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin.
On his Sixx Sense radio show, Sixx, 57, says: “What dealers are doing is they’re taking heroin and they’re cutting it with fentanyl to give it a little extra kick.
“It just breaks my heart to think that something so deadly… I mean, this is fifty times stronger than heroin, and people don’t know what they’re getting, and they’re dying.
“As a recovering heroin addict, I’m telling you, you don’t know what you’re doing. When you buy a balloon of Persian heroin, you don’t know what’s in it, and that’s what’s happening.”
Sixx says his decision to talk out on the drugs issue came after he saw a news report with claimed 24 people died on one night in a single Ohio town from overdoses linked to fentanyl-laced heroin.
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Asked what advice he’d give to addicts, Sixx adds: “The first step is acknowledging. When you’re an addict, and you’re kind of in a hole, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in a million-dollar mansion or if you’re living on the street, you’re still in a hole.
“You’re in a dark hole, with a cloud over your head and you feel bad about yourself and you know you wanna get out, but when you go through withdrawal, it hurts. It’s so painful.
“And you know all you need is a taste of that devil and you will feel better, and so you’ll quit tomorrow. And the way out is to admit that you’re an alcoholic or a drug addict and admit that you’re powerless, you’re completely powerless, and then you have to let go.
“I could go on for hours about this, but it’s best if people can research it themselves. If you have a loved one in your life, if you’re addicted yourself, know that you’re loved, that you’re not alone and that there is help.”
In 2007, Sixx released an autobiographical book called The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star which looked at his descent into addiction.
Help for addicts is available in a range of places, including through Narcotics Anonymous, which holds regular meetings around the world.