Drug addiction comes with its own set of stigmas. Some may be justified, others not so much. For those addicted to drugs, stigmas don’t bother them much because they are consumed with feeding their habit. However, no one using actually wants to die, they just want to remove their pain. It is in this quest for superficial serenity that brings added risks to people who have lost self-control to heroin and cocaine use. Far more deadly than Fentanyl, there’s a newcomer in today’s drug trend that brings people to death’s door with no way out. And it only takes a first-time use to get there. Carfentanil across America is moving swiftly from state-to-state bringing the end of life to the unsuspecting. Here’s what you need to know.
Arizona and the Southwest Soon to See the Power of a Single Grain of Carfentanil
This elephant tranquilizer – carfentanil – began to sweep across the United States a couple of years ago in Kentucky, Florida and Ohio and victims in Maryland and New Hampshire are cropping up, indicating infiltration in the drug market of the Northeast. With a recent increase in cocaine sales, due to an oversupply of the drug coming from Colombia and Peru, more people are in danger of overdose and they don’t even know it. And because drug use trends eventually hit other parts of the country, heroin addicts and cocaine users in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and California could experience its wrath, sooner than later.
One-Time Charlie Packs a Fatal Punch
There’s a good reason why the National Institute on Drug Abuse placed carfentanil as a substance listed on its NDEWS (National Drug Early Warning System) profile. As the agency continues to provide the public pertinent information about drug trends and what to watch for, carfentanil poses an alarming rate of reach. While opioid addiction has seen a slight decrease as of late, the statistics show the positive trend reversing due to the induction of carfentanil in heroin and cocaine composition.
The lure of the drug high is stronger than the dangers carfentanil presents. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are often used to cut heroin and cocaine during the distribution process to help dealers increase their profit margin by lessening the purity of these drugs before they hit the street.
When carfentanil gets into the hands of a heroin or cocaine user, there is no way in knowing as it resembles both drugs through its white, powdery look and feel. The strength of the drug is catastrophic:
- Meant for large animals, not human consumption
- 10,000X stronger than morphine
- Dangerous even to the touch
- Resistant to multiple doses of anti-overdose drug Narcan
Naivete Can Put You Six Feet Under
It’s hard to explain just how lethal carfentanil is. For a visual example, note the image below of a United States penny and two (2) milligrams of carfentanil powder, representing a lethal amount of the drug.
Carfentanil is like toxic waste, emitting poison to anyone it contacts. In fact, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has issued a safety alert for all members of law enforcement to abide by in the event that they encounter a potential or active overdose due to carfentanil.
As scary as the image of this deadly drug can be, it comes to life when you ask someone about their use of heroin or cocaine, even occasional use, and listen to their response about the dangers that carfentanil brings.
While sitting amongst a bunch of millennials and GenXers over the weekend, chatting it up about the summer concert calendar, the subject of recreational drug use came about. Curiosity got the better of me and I asked my friends, “If you were at the concert and some random guy offered you some blow, would you take it?”
They looked at each other for a minute. Amidst a couple of giggles and someone saying, “Hell yeah,” I was saddened by the response. It was amazing to me how lackadaisical their attitude was and how uninformed. So I pulled a penny out of my purse and explained what just a touch of carfentanil can do. Then I recited the signs of carfentanil exposure or overdose.
Symptoms of Carfentanil Exposure:
- Sticky, clammy skin
- Shortness of breath or shallow breathing
- Heart failure
Then the “Oh that would never happen to me,” echoed in the room. I quietly said, “But how would you know? There is no guarantee.” And this is exactly the kind of thinking that supports why carfentanil overdose numbers are expected to rise.
Carfentanil Is Like a Ticking Time Bomb with a Short Fuse
Now that you know about the new drug that’s trending across a neighborhood near you, will it affect how you socialize or who you socialize with? As the opioid epidemic continues to twist and turn, the people of this country wait for real answers in our healthcare system to help stop the crisis from destroying families and communities. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center remains on top of the issues by offering leading-edge and compassionate solutions.
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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888.512.1705.