The USA is within the midst of an opioid epidemic, and probably the most highly effective and most horrifying medicine concerned within the epidemic is fentanyl, an artificial opioid that’s 50 occasions stronger than heroin and 100 occasions stronger than morphine.
Much more horrifying? The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported this week that it has recovered brightly coloured “rainbow fentanyl” in 18 totally different states throughout the nation — a pattern that places children and younger folks in danger, whether or not they’re ingesting the drug purposefully or whether or not they discover misplaced drugs and mistaken them for sweet.
“Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl drugs and powder that are available a wide range of vibrant colours, shapes, and sizes — is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive dependancy amongst children and younger adults,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram mentioned in an announcement. “The women and men of the DEA are relentlessly working to cease the trafficking of rainbow fentanyl and defeat the Mexican drug cartels which are accountable for the overwhelming majority of the fentanyl that’s being trafficked in the US.”
The DEA studies that the rainbow fentanyl is available in coloured drugs, blocks that appear to be sidewalk chalk, and powders, and all are harmful.
In addition they say that whereas they heard claims that totally different colours characterize totally different efficiency, lab testing has confirmed that that’s not the case.
In accordance with the CDC, Fentanyl and different artificial opioids are accountable for 66 % of drug overdoses every year, accounting for over 71,000 deaths in 2021 alone. That’s nearly double the quantity of people that died in automobile crashes in the identical 12 months. Drug overdoses are the main killer of People between the ages of 18 and 45.
Advertising and marketing addictive medicine to kids will not be new; alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and marijuana companies all have a historical past of making an attempt to hook younger customers after which preserve them for all times. However whereas laws have largely prevented merchandise from preying on children, although, unlawful avenue medicine are clearly resistant to promoting legal guidelines.
Fentanyl is extraordinarily harmful to everybody, however particularly to youthful customers who may not know its efficiency and hazard. Simply two milligrams of fentanyl (equal to about 15 grains of salt) will be deadly, and it’s not possible to understand how a lot is in any unlawful tablet or powder. As time goes on, fentanyl is being discovered in increasingly different medicine as unlawful producers add it to their merchandise for efficiency.
Not solely are teenagers and younger adults dying from overdoses, infants and toddlers residing with opioid customers have gotten victims. 4 weeks in the past, a California couple was charged with homicide after their 15-month-old child accessed the drug from a bedside desk. Final month, two different mother and father confronted the same cost after their 6-year-old son ingested a blue fentanyl tablet. Additionally final month, a father was arrested after his two-year-old discovered his fentanyl provide. The daddy, like many People, grew to become addicted after being prescribed opioids for a medical cause.
If you happen to encounter fentanyl in any kind, don’t deal with it. Name 911.