Cocaine Laced with Fentanyl more Lethal than Heroine Laced.
Cocaine laced with Fentanyl is a scary thought. The Center of Disease Control reports, fentanyl was found in more than half of the opioid overdoses last year; it is obviously one of the leading components in the increase in overdoses in the U.S. Fentanyl is starting to affect all drug users even marijuana smokers, because a lethal dose of fentanyl is a just a speck on a penny. There was 60,000 reported opioid overdose death in 2017, it’s probably the most ominous statistic you will hear, because no one has yet discovered a solution to this problem. 60,000 is an under-reported statistic because many deaths were not included in this number.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. So why are they putting the elephant tranquilizer in marijuana and cocaine! I am glad alcohol is regulated because it would probably be in there too. Drug dealers are lacing their supply with fentanyl for two reasons: 1.) it increases the high and creates a demand for their product and 2.) fentanyl is cheap. The lethal dose is so small that it is nearly impossible to measure a safe amount in a batch. There have been multiple reports of fentanyl-laced marijuana and cocaine in Vermont and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, the number of deaths with just cocaine and fentanyl increased 420 percent in 2017.
What makes this situation even more dangerous than lacing it with opioids is that a cocaine user has not developed a tolerance to opiates and a much smaller amount can create a lethal effect.
- Reasons Fentanyl laced drugs are more dangerous than Opioid lace drugs.
- The user has less of a tolerance
- The user is not an opiate user so friends may not possess or administer Narcan.
- The combination of drugs can increase effects of an overdose.
- Emergency personnel responds based on cocaine protocol because they are not aware of the mixture.
Fentanyl involvement in overdoses is getting worse, and in 2016, 37 percent of overdose deaths involved cocaine laced with fentanyl and pure fentanyl without heroin, up from 11 percent in 2015. Last year more than 1,300 New Yorkers died of a drug overdose, and nearly half (44 percent) of those deaths involved fentanylPeople who use cocaine occasionally and who are not used to taking opioids are considered to be at particularly high risk of overdose death, (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
Regulated drugs like legal marijuana are becoming a much safer option, drugs that are regulated and are tested, which provides security for the user. Some countries have opened testing labs where drug users can come and have their drugs tested to determine what substances are present in them regardless of it is a legal substance or not. Countries like Holland treat heroin use as a health problem, not a criminal one, and set up centers that allowed and administer pure heroin, which resulted in almost no heroin users under the age of 40 (read the article by Vice).
United Staes has recently seen an increased incentive of persecuting the drug dealers, which many times are active drug users. Of course, this is understandable, but indeed when we regulate and protect the user we decrease the deaths, we reduce the money spent on prison, and we can treat the active user. Treatment is still less expensive than imprisonment.