Carfentanil is the most potent opioid used, according to CNN, 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Commercially, carfentanil is used as an elephant tranquilizer. Just two milligrams of the drug can take down an elephant. Recently, it has taken the lives of dozens. Three of America’s states struggling the most with the heroin epidemic have been effected. Ohio, Indiana, and Florida saw peaks in overdose counts. Hamilton County in Ohio, for example, saw 90 overdoses in one weekend due to heroin laced with carfentanil. Using the overdose reversal drug Naloxone put hospitals and first responders in empty supply.
Where is Carfentanil coming from?
Like most heroin-related synthetics causing problems in America, carfentanil is coming in through Mexico. Despite heavily protected borders, drugs still make it in. Mexico is not the source of the sudden carfentanil supply or even the recent fentanyl supply. Mexico is in close ties with China when it comes to these illegal drugs. China is responsible for the manufacturing and production of these drugs. Mexico moves the supply.
What is Carfentanil?
Carfentanil, aside from being an opiate used for animal sedation, is an “analogue” of fentanyl. Fentanyl, the drug recently made famous as being responsible for the overdose death of Prince, is a synthetic opiate. Synthetic opiates have come in varying potencies. For example, after the discovery of Fentanyl came W-18 and U-4470. Fentanyl is found to be about 100 times stronger than morphine. With each new synthetic, the potency rises. Synthetic opiates are necessary for treating patients with chronic pain. Though the brain has naturally occurring opioid receptors, not everyone naturally takes to opiates. Opiates are the current treatment of choice for managing chronic pain. People who cannot metabolize normal opiates need synthetics.
Why lace Heroin?
It is hard to judge whether the intentions of the drug producers are to cause as many overdoses as possible. That sort of malice would be unconscionable. There is little probability, however, that the manufacturers are completely unaware of this effect. People buying the laced heroin are unaware of the effect as well. Likely, the manufacturers rely on the non-heroin substances to supplement their supply. Cutting heroin with synthetic opiates helps extend the amount of real heroin which can be used.
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