The Opioid Epidemic seemingly unleashes its ugly head in new communities with little warning of its impending doom. The Opioid Epidemic reared its ugly head in Northern California in January 2019 with a round of fentanyl overdoses.
One man lost his life from the overdose, while twelve others were hospitalized for fentanyl overdoses. So powerful is the drug fentanyl that first responders also fell and were hospitalized for potential overdoses.
The 2019 Northern California fentanyl overdoses provide a haunting reminder that no community is safe from the Opioid Epidemic.
Fortunately for those afflicted this time, Chico County (where the overdoses occurred) had proactively provided police officers with life-saving naloxone in case the epidemic ever reached the area. (1)
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is highly desirable for drug traffickers for a number of reasons. First, since it is fully synthetic, it can be synthesized illegally in labs commonly in China or Mexico. Second, fentanyl is approximately 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and thus requires extremely small doses (on the order of micrograms).
What makes Fentanyl so dangerous?
Fentanyl, which is dosed by the microgram, can be fatal with extremely small doses. Often times, however, drug dealers do not advertise that the drugs they are selling are laced with fentanyl.
This is usually because fentanyl is much cheaper for the dealers than other narcotics. For example, heroin is typically much more expensive than fentanyl, so often times fentanyl will be mixed with heroin in order to save money. Counterfeit prescription pills will often contain fentanyl as well.
The reason fentanyl containing drugs are so dangerous is twofold. First, the dose in which can cause a lethal overdose is almost always so small, that it is practically impossible for the user to detect its presence.
This small dose coupled with the extremely rapid onset of fentanyl means users typically will not realize what they have used until it is too late.
Second, those lacing drugs with fentanyl almost never have the knowledge or equipment to adequately mix the drug with whatever cutting agents are being used. This means almost every batch is going to have a few doses in which are “hot”, or contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.