LETTER: The scourge of fentanyl

To the Editor:

Fentanyl is the strongest opiate on the streets right now and it’s estimated to be 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin.

Not only is fentanyl sold on the streets “as is,” but it’s also mixed into other drugs by dealers who have no regard for human life; all they care about is taking the addict’s money. Fentanyl has recently been found not only in heroin supplies, but it’s also been found in other illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana.

Unsuspecting addicts consume the drug in the amounts they’re used to, completely oblivious to the fact that they are about to ingest a lethal dose of fentanyl. Fentanyl affects the opiate receptors of the brain and crosses through the blood-brain barrier and creates an intense euphoria and addiction in the user much like heroin. Fentanyl was originally only supposed to be indicated for cancer patients and for “end-of-life” pain. Fentanyl was rarely ever prescribed as a “take-home” medicine for chronic pain or painful disorders and never used outside of a hospital. Not only is fentanyl available on nearly every street corner nationwide, it’s also being widely distributed throughout the country after being imported from China. In order to finally get a grip on the growing opiate epidemic, doctors need to stop over-prescribing opiates so as to not create new addicts and effective drug rehab needs to be made available to anyone who needs it. Addiction doesn’t care who you are, how you were raised, or where you’re from; it can affect anyone. Another person becoming an unfortunate statistic is one too many.

Jason Good (Clearwater, FL)