According to the DEA, “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin.” This new opioid is wreaking havoc across areas of Canada and the U.S., resulting in thousands of overdoses per year. Fentanyl’s potency is unheard of and the epidemic is reaching critical proportions.
It acts quicker than heroin and is much more potent; the majority of fentanyl production takes place in clandestine labs in Mexico and overseas labs, so quality control is out of the question with non-pharmaceutical grade fentanyl. The problem arises from the lack of knowledge users have with the milligram dosage in unknown powders. It is also sometimes mixed with heroin – without the drug users’ knowledge – to give the illusion of very high-grade heroin.
The Opioid Epidemic
Fentanyl is being mixed into heroin, cocaine, and other drugs – either knowingly or unknowingly to customers – due to how cheap and powerful the synthetic drug is. For example, about 40% of people listed as dying of a cocaine overdose also had fentanyl in their system. In 2011, only 4% of overdoses were contributed to Fentanyl. By 2016, 29% of drug overdoses were caused by fentanyl, either by itself or mixed with other drugs.
A drug dealer isn’t someone you can trust, yet people of all ages and walks of life will put their lives in the hands of a plastic baggy. Even the dealers may not know that their heroin or cocaine has been adulterated with Fentanyl. There were 18,335 overdose deaths involving fentanyl in the USA in 2016, followed closely by heroin with a death count of 15,961. To put it in perspective, fentanyl deaths have risen from 1,300 in 2013 to 18,335 in 2016.
What to do About Fentanyl
There isn’t one easy answer or solution to the opioid epidemic, which has reached almost every corner of North America. The best thing that you can do for yourself – or a loved one suffering from addiction to other drugs – is to get clean immediately. There is another analog of fentanyl called ‘carfentanil’, which is a tranquilizer that is used to sedate or kill large animals, such as elephants. Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine. 10mg can put an elephant to sleep or kill one, with the average elephant weighing 75 times that of a 200lb human male. The results of even 1mg in a human body can be deadly.
We urge anyone suffering from addiction to substances like cocaine or heroin to get help immediately. Dealers and users are not always aware of the substances they are buying and may unknowingly overdose because of it.
Your Recovery Resource for Fentanyl Addiction
Someone dies every day due to the accidental ingestion of fentanyl, as overdoses are being reported in casual and recreational users, not just people who are severely addicted. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction, immediate intervention is necessary. Contact us at (855) 727-2887 for our services, which include intervention, post-treatment support, coaching, sober companions, and sober transport.