Small towns, small minds; Big cities, big risks. Fentanyl is opioid pain killer, which when used recreationally is an overdose inducing indulgence. The potency of this drug is widely covered, the epidemic equally well reported but arguably less understood. The fact that pharmacy produced products are claiming more victims than guns is staggering.
Users will continue to use. Drugs are part of our social structure, allowing wall street marathons to run continually, the working class to turn off their minds, and the rock bottom to blunt the edge of their existence. Although narcotics are seen as criminal, using an extremely potent opioid seems to be more of a call for help than crime.
Fentanyl is the new patch and powder on the block, cheap and exciting, a different alley to explore. Users fall into a deadly trap through lack of education and options, seeing no path other than chemical vacations for recreation. Whatever option provides the most efficient thrill will be used most.
Although numbers and fear sell papers, it doesn’t end pandemics. Education and awareness is the most powerful antidote to any street drug. Knowing what you’re doing, how to take it, how much to take and what it entails is essential knowledge for responsible usage.
If the Fentanyl pandemic is to be curbed, people need to stop dying. Rehab is always the intent, but it is hard to attend posthumously. It is a shame people are criminalized for the same substance found inside institutional walls, but context is perhaps the culprit. Patients have died during fentanyl induced and professionally administered anesthesia, so it is no surprise street doses are so lethal. Fatal and non-fatal powdered doses are identical to the naked eye.
The forms: In common street usage, Fentanyl is found powdered, in patches, pharmaceutical “Pops”, and liquid. The Pop’s are flavoured, fashionable (RIP Prince) and are fairly available and expensive. Patches are the most commonly medically administered medium, and are widely available after hours as well. The doses are clearly marked, but are easily increased by slicing the patches open for the gel inside. Various rounds of recalls for defective patches means there is a reasonable supply for third party sales.
The liquid doses are most commonly pharmacy produced, but can be created at home with a stove and some know how. As any injection goes, doses are vital, and depending on the supply, it can be hard to predict with Fentanyl. Hygiene comes into question whenever needles are involved, as does the social stigma of injecting for the sake of a high. The powder is the most widely available for illicit usage. It is cut with a range of additives, available in various intensities and can be taken all kinds of ways. It’s easy, deadly, and way too common.
How to do it: You can smoke it, fairly easily. Glass pipes, crack pipes and DIY pipes will pull it off. The lollipops are instant and offer a powerful release through oral stimulation. The patches can be cut open so that the gel can be directly applied to the skin, for an immediate dose. IV injection is of course possible, with the medical grade and aftermarket brew available to shoot up. Snorting is a quick and easy classic, made possible with the possession of powder.
Reaction: You are going to get really high. It is an opiate, you are warm mush, melting into whatever setting you dosed in. It doesn’t provide the euphoria or psychedelia of other opiates. Instead, Fentanyl depresses and distorts, greatly affecting perception, mental and physical functions, and respiration. Onset varies through ingestion, like any drug just wait it out. Bluelight forums are a trove of knowledge for first hand user stories.
Is education a travesty? Although the subject of narcotics is staunchly taboo, a how-to is largely benign. The best way to indulge in illicit substance is to exercise abstinence. It’s cheap, low risk, and highly rewarding.
Drug addiction is a delicate and divisive beast, and must be handled accordingly. It is impossible to deny opioid addictions are approaching pandemic levels. Jailing and ostracizing users is destructive. Addiction is an escape, a blatant call for help. Education is power, and a chance at self salvation.
Media should mature and outgrow shallow stigmas towards drug use. The status quo should see users and addicts treated with dignity, and given an opportunity to redeem and redact themselves.