A skull and bones stands next to a marijuana plant with fentanyl

Drug overdoses continue to be the leading cause of death amongst young people in the United States today. While several different drugs are involved in the crisis, one, in particular, is most to blame: fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.

Of the 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 that involved any opioid drug, 28,400 of these deaths were caused by fentanyl alone. To make matters worse, countless other popular drugs are being laced with fentanyl, which is another major reason why drug overdose deaths reached over 70,000 in 2017. (1)

Here we take a look at some of the drugs that have been verified to be laced with fentanyl.

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful opioid drug that is used in medicine for chronic pain reliefA marijuana plant with crystals around it and anesthesia. Fentanyl is incredibly powerful, and is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine.

This means that fentanyl is active as much smaller doses than morphine, which is one of the main reasons it is so often fatal. It also explains why drugs are so easily laced with fentanyl. (2)

So what drugs have been discovered to be laced with fentanyl?

Marijuana

Much debate over whether fentanyl-laced marijuana actually exists or is a scare tactic has occurred on the internet lately. The reality is, there have been verified cases of fentanyl-laced marijuana. (3) As recently as April 2019, authorities discovered fentanyl-laced marijuana. (4)

Ecstasy/MDMA/molly

Ecstasy is notorious for almost never being the pure drug MDMA (3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine). Not surprisingly, fentanyl-laced ecstasy has been reported frequently in the past few years. (5)

Cocaine

The number of cocaine overdose deaths has skyrocketed in the past few years. This is, however, largely due to fentanyl being laced in cocaine without the users knowledge. For example, 13,942 people overdosed and died on fentanyl-laced cocaine in 2017 alone. (6)

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Methamphetamine

Much like cocaine, methamphetamine is increasingly being laced with fentanyl. This is particularly dangerous for users who may not have an opioid tolerance. (7)

Counterfeit Prescription Pills

An increasing number of prescription pills purchased illicitly are actually counterfeit pills. To make matters worse, counterfeit pills very seldom contain the actual drug in which they appear to be. Fentanyl is one of the most common drugs used in the production of counterfeit prescription pills. (8)

Final Note

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.


Sources:

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/why-do-people-take-hallucinogens
  2. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/sites/getsmartaboutdrugs.com/files/publications/DoA_2017Ed_Updated_6.16.17.pdf#page=40
  3. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/ajrccm-conference.2018.197.1_MeetingAbstracts.A3578
  4. https://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny-fentanyl-marijuana-20190412-yunty6yigjfdvcju2lg3tvyhxe-story.html
  5. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/party-drugs-increasingly-being-laced-with-fentanyl-1.3412507
  6. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
  7. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/danvergano/cocaine-meth-overdose-wave
  8. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/sites/getsmartaboutdrugs.com/files/publications/DoA_2017Ed_Updated_6.16.17.pdf#page=40