The situation of painkillers creating addiction in the United States has become critical after Virginia recorded a high number of deaths caused by the excessive use of fentanyl.
This drug is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, and it represents an important product on the black market. Furthermore, drug cartels are finding it easy to switch heroin with fentanyl.
Worse, scientists established that people who were usually buying heroin from drug dealers were, in fact, purchasing a mix of heroin and fentanyl without even knowing. Plus, if someone dies, it is very difficult for the doctors to establish the cause of death precisely due to this mix. Because it is so strong, this drug can quickly kill someone. Moreover, statistics have shown that fentanyl leads to overdose much quicker than heroin.
Scientists and organizations around the world are doing their best to reduce the prescription of fentanyl. Nevertheless, the problem of drug cartels remains, especially in South America and Mexico. Plus, the prescription of legal fentanyl in Virginia increased by only 10 percent from 2007 to 2014, meaning that people still have easy access to this serial killer.
Unfortunately during the same period, the number of deaths tripled from 48 to 134. In addition to this, the use of illegal fentanyl was associated with around 221 deaths last year, more than any other opioid besides heroin.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, and it is usually prescribed to patients suffering from excruciating pain or cancer. It is worth mentioning that its pharmaceutical design comes in the form of a slow-release patch that it is placed on the skin.
Last year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a nationwide alert regarding the danger of fentanyl. Even the police officers working in the narcotic divisions are warned to be careful around drug crime scenes as even a few drops of fentanyl on the skin can lead to death.
What is even more surprising is that addicts usually look for dealers when they find out that someone died because of a ‘product.’ Therefore, they assume that it was a strong batch of heroin, and they want to try it. Hopefully authorities, officials, and scientists will continue to raise awareness regarding fentanyl and people will stop using it.