It appears that in California there is a drug even deadlier than heroin since Fentanyl has recorded 42 opioid overdoses over the course of only twelve days. The overdoses resulted in the deaths of ten people.
Contrary to what many have thought initially, the overdoses were not the result of the prescription painkiller named Norco. Instead, these people were tricked into buying the drug on the streets, but instead of buying Norco they ended up purchased Fentanyl, which is fifty times more powerful than heroin.
Fentanyl is well known in the illegal drug trade, having replaced other opioids in the trend. The drug is both cheap and easy to manufacture and has arrived at killing more people than heroin in some states. For instance, last year in the state of New Hampshire, 32 people died of a heroin overdose as compared to the 158 killed by Fentanyl.
As a result, the drug is one of the major causes of the rising opioid overdose rate of the United States. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014 saw the largest increase in such deaths, of which 77 percent were caused by other synthetic narcotics which include Fentanyl.
Fentanyl is prescribed for pain, being one hundred times more powerful than morphine. It is usually given to patients if other lighter medication for pain is not doing the job. In more detail, the drug increases the levels of dopamine in the brain and thus produces a euphoric state. By consuming other illegally sold painkillers such as hydrocodone or heroin, the sensation is amplified.
According to those who have gone through the experience, the drug hits even before a person has finished giving the shot. This is the reason many were found with needles still stuck in their arms.
The drug has recorded an increased popularity over the last five years. Back in 2012, 668 illicit drugs containing Fentanyl were seized by the government. Two years later in 2014, they found no less than 3,344. It all seems to go back to the moment when the addictive Oxycodone was altered by Purdue Pharma in 2012. Fentanyl ended up replacing Oxycodone and even disguising itself as the legal pill from years prior to 2012.
According to Center for Addiction and Mental Health addiction program chief Peter Selby from Canada,
“This is not unpredictable. [If you] just simply demonize OxyContin and keep all the other immediate-release, fast-acting or abuse-able forms on the market, then the population moves to that.”
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