03 Aug Epidemic Sweeps America- Fentanyl the Silent Killer
Also known as Actiq and Duragesic, Fentanyl at the core, is a synthetic opioid analgesic. It is very similar to drugs such as morphine but is close to 100 times more powerful. It is a prescription drug and is used to treat patients with severe pain, usually taken after large scale surgeries. Fentanyl is used also to treat patients that are resistant to other pain medications. On the street it is referred to as many things including: China Girl, Friend, Good fella, Dance Fever, Apache, Jackpot, TNT, and Murder 8.
Like most other drugs, most of Fentanyl’s users are attracted to its euphoric high. Since the drug is so potent, and used in such little amounts, this drug creates a sensation much the same as heroin but for a fraction of the price. Due to this, Many of it’s users continue to look for Fentanyl to avoid withdrawal.
Most of the drug that is being used on the street is not the prescription drugs being sold out of the pharmacy. In here is what lies the problem. Manufacturers from Asia and Mexico have been pumping this underground Fentanyl into the United States. As unregulated and unannounced, this illegal Fentanyl has found to be laced with many toxic combinations, including heroin and cocaine.
On the street, Fentanyl comes in many consistencies and colors which is why it is often being sold as cocaine and heroin. This is the reason overdose cases have reached a record high among drug users. When an individual thinks they are abusing cocaine, and ingest the same amount of Fentanyl, overdose is a huge possibility. Drug deaths in the state have gone up every year for at least the last five years. “Out of the approximately 456 drug deaths in 2016, 193 were due to just fentanyl, making it the number one cause of drug overdoses that year. The mix of fentanyl and other drugs (excluding heroin) was the number two cause of deadly overdoses, responsible for 121 deaths.”
Since 2016, the DEA has released a nationwide alert about the dangers of Fentanyl. The substance is so toxic, that fentanyl busts are typically treated like hazardous materials situations. When Lee was arrested Sunday, DEA agents were called to the scene to “safely secure and collect the substance,” the news release said.