Drug Users Intentionally Seek Out Fentanyl
Fentanyl is one drug that I believe will go down in history books forever. It’s not often that a generation sees a substance that drastically and permanently changes the societal landscape around it. Sure, there have been drugs that have caused problems over the years. Cocaine and crack decimated low-income communities in the 1980’s. Quaaludes in the 1970’s played a part in multiple celebrity deaths, and amphetamine in the 1950’s was extremely popular amongst housewives who needed some extra “pep.”
Fentanyl is beast like none other. As soon as it showed up in the drug supply, dealers found a cheap but deadly way to extend their raw heroin and maximize their profits while addicts still got an insanely strong high. Fast forward to present time, heroin barely exists anymore. Some data suggests that when an addict buys “heroin” they’re actually buying mostly fentanyl and “cut” with about 3% of the mixture being comprised of actual heroin, at best. Meaning our heroin problem is realistically a fentanyl problem. And it’s not just in heroin. Fentanyl is being disguised as common prescription drugs, being laced into cocaine and methamphetamine and some rumors have been flying around that smokable forms of fentanyl have been found in marijuana.
Either way, our society simply has a giant fentanyl problem anyway you look at it. The drug appears in almost everything and it’s no wonder that in Columbus, Ohio overdose deaths spiked recently. The Franklin County Coroner reported five people succumbed to fatal overdoses in less than nine hours in the county. The OD’s occurred on the east side of the city and alert was immediately issued.
A local doctor has been strongly urging addicts to carry Narcan with them for if and when they overdose and to use fentanyl testing strips as a way to stay a bit safer.
Dr. Ortiz said, “We know that most of the drugs in our area are mixed with fentanyl or fentanyl analogs. This includes cocaine and meth. Many of those who use may not be aware of this so it is important to test before using."
I don’t agree with using fentanyl testing strips as a method of using drugs “safely” because there is absolutely no safe way to use drugs. Drug abuse is an extremely risky behavior as it is and I don’t know of any addicts who’ll test their “heroin” for the presence of fentanyl and discard the drugs if the test results are positive. Addicts these days want the strongest high possible so most of them are intentionally seeking out pure fentanyl as opposed to the idea that users are accidentally dying from it. They’re knowingly buying it and understanding the consequences. Addiction is an awful condition that I don’t wish upon anyone but what has to be realized is that fentanyl is being intentionally used so test strips and things of that nature are relatively useless, given fentanyl seems to be what a lot of addicts actually want.