Fentanyl is a very powerful opioid, much stronger than heroin and morphine. Fentanyl is often abused to mimic the effects of heroin and similar substances, but its potency cannot be compared. The fentanyl epidemic is sweeping the nation and hitting the Valley and abuse of the substance is at an all-time high. On top of it all, the cartels behind its production could care less about its consistency: as long as they are meeting the demand, it doesn’t matter who lives or dies at the hand of what they’re producing.
“Because this stuff is manufactured…they’re in a laboratory and measuring how much is in it, they just take the fentanyl and stir it in with a spoon. So you may take one hit with 1 milligram of fentanyl [in it], and the next you take a hit with 7 milligrams.”
Doug Coleman, DEA
This inconsistency in production is a major reason behind the high rate of accidental overdoses associated with the drug. The amount of fentanyl equivalent to two grains of sand is enough to cause an overdose. The potency of this drug is not something that should be messed around with or tested, and this has been proven by the members of our own community that we’ve lost, along with numerous celebrities that also fell victim to the drug’s addictive qualities.
Parker McKinsey is one of our patients at Scottsdale Recovery Center, where this news piece was filmed. His addiction progressed to the point where his fix of choice was fentanyl-laced heroin, and this dangerous peak is what led him to seek treatment at our facility. Unfortunately, his younger brother had a less fortunate fate and died of an overdose from his very first interaction with drugs. Parker is continuing his recovery, now aware of the dangers of his previous lifestyle.
It is evident that human lives are the price this country is paying for fentanyl. The drug has surpassed heroin as the leading cause of opioid death in the state of Arizona. Centers have even moved on to call this the third wave of the opioid epidemic, the first two being pain-killers and heroin.
Several other drugs are cut with fentanyl: one popular example of this is Cocaine, where the powders are mixed to create an impure and potentially deadly substance. Fentanyl-laced pills are also common, where the user thinks that they’re taking Oxycontin or Percocet. The sad truth is that addiction becomes uncontrollable: people are consuming these powders and pills without testing the product or even knowing where they came from. If the chance to get high presents itself, the majority of addicts will take that chance without thinking twice.
Additionally, as mentioned in the video, the terror that we’ve seen is only a small fraction of the drug’s circulation. In 2017 alone, the DEA seized 121,000 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. The cartels in Mexico are the source of the drug, and they are eager to fuel this epidemic as it continues to unfold:
“Here in Arizona we have seen a 2,000 percent increase in the amount of fentanyl powder we seize and a 3,000 percent increase in the amount of fentanyl pills.”
Doug Coleman, DEA
With the amount of fentanyl floating around our streets and the state, it is no surprise that people are dying daily and the drug’s use has been on a continuous spike since 2016. The best way to begin to prevent these daily deaths is education. Educating our friends, peers, children, loved ones on the dangers of the drug and how all substances are at risk for being impure. The cartel doesn’t care who dies. Drug dealers aren’t concerned if their customers are buying laced pills. Addiction is an ugly disease, where selfishness, greed, and self-serving behaviors are all the addict knows.
Scottsdale Recovery Center continues to combat this epidemic, with success stories and testimonials that prove that our treatment methods work. Are programs are all-encompassing and individualized to meet the needs of each of our patients. If you have any questions or are concerned that you or a loved one is being affected by the fentanyl epidemic, reach out today. Our duty lies in helping you rediscover your purpose and live a fulfilling life.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.