Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is 40 times stronger than heroin. Drug sellers sometimes use fentanyl to lace heroin sold on the street. The fentanyl-laced heroin offers a stronger euphoria to users, and many like that, but it's also extremely dangerous and has led to numerous deaths.
In fact, many experts blame fentanyl for the recent spike in drug overdoses throughout the nation. Many users end up consuming fentanyl unknowingly, and they take more of the drug than their bodies can handle.
What's the history and current scoop on fentanyl?
Fentanyl patches have been a popular treatment for chronic pain issues for decades. However, since about 1980, illegal drug merchants have been spiking heroin with fentanyl and other similar drugs, resulting in overdose deaths.
Over the last four years, fentanyl has spiked in popularity. You might think that the increase in deaths would cause people to be afraid of the drug, but in some cases, it does the exact opposite. Buyers are attracted to the promise of a super potent high. Even if it comes with the risk of death, for many people, the risks are worth it.
Due to the increase in circulation of fentanyl throughout the country, federal authorities labeled fentanyl at a congressional hearing to be "an even more dangerous threat" than heroin. At the hearing, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security stated that synthetic opioids are easier and cheaper to make than heroin, as heroin requires the growing of numerous opium poppies in farms -- and synthetic opioids do not.
According to a drug policy analyst from Northeastern University, the evolution and growth in popularity of fentanyl was predictable. He cites the "iron law of prohibition" to result in the concentration of banned substances, which serves to maximize profits. He doesn't believe that the overdose problem is close to coming to an end.
Police are increasing enforcement activities
Any Indiana resident who knows someone involved in heroin or fentanyl sales should stay alert to the fact that police have increased their drug enforcement efforts related to these illegal substances. If arrested and convicted of crimes related to fentanyl or heroin, accused persons could face long-term jail sentences. As such, defendants need to consider the navigation of their criminal court process carefully.