There is a new drug in town that is 100 times more powerful than morphine and in most cases 30-50 times more powerful than heroin. The drug is called Fentanyl and is used as a reliable substitute for heroin for those who are highly opioid dependent. More often than not the use of Fentanyl leads to overdoses that usually lead to death.
Fentanyl abuse isn’t just a problem in the US, as Canada has been reporting overdoses from the use of the drug as well. In fact, the potent drug is having a major damaging impact on the country of Canada, as just last year there was a dramatic upswing in reports of Fentanyl-related deaths in Canadas four largest provinces.
In a study conducted by The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, it was estimated that between the years of 2009-2014 there were at least 655 deaths confirmed in the country where Fentanyl was shown to either contribute to the death or caused the death of the individual involved. When taking these numbers into perspective this would indicate that there was one Fentanyl-related death every three days over the studied five-year span. What is worse is that those who conducted the study said this was just an estimate, that in fact, the numbers could actually be much higher.
The attraction to Fentanyl is because of the euphoric feeling the individual gets from the use of the drug, and because of the over-prescribing of OxyContin for so long. Because addicts are needing a more powerful high, that they can no longer achieve with OxyContin, they are turning to the stronger Fentanyl, thusly risking the more dangerous effects and outcomes that come with the drugs use.
It is worth noting that Fentanyl deaths are not a recent or even new problem. From 2005-2008 over 1,000 deaths were reported that were all linked back to one single lab in Mexico. Once the lab was put out of production the numbers dropped for a while, only to start climbing again a year later in 2009.
As with any recreational drug, the battle is an uphill endeavor. The hardest part is trying to stay ahead of the supply, as well as trying to keep the death toll down.