The heroin, pain pill, opiate/opioid epidemic seems to be reaching a pinnacle in terms of overdoses and deaths in this country. Over the last week or two, I personally have heard stories about five different people in different parts of the country: Florida, New York, and New Jersey to be specific. As a former abuser of the deadly combination of opioids (oxycodone, oxycontin, methadone) and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, valium), I would be scared to try anything that is being sold on the streets. This includes pills, which are no longer “safer” than heroin just because they are made in a lab. The streets, dealers, suppliers and anyone else involved in the distribution of drugs on the black market now have their grimy hands involved in creating fake prescription medications that look like they came from a pharmacy.
Eye-Opening Overdose in New York
One of these overdoses (ODs) that I heard of recently came from a friend from Queens, New York. He told me of this young woman that was adamantly opposed to the use of drugs. The 22-year-old was heavily influenced by a man she dated. She watched his drug use of pain medications increase and eventually began to fancy the high that he exposed her to. She gave in to the temptation and tried one, thinking it was “safe” because it came from the pharmacy. Unfortunately, this was not the case. That fake pill was a replica of the prescription pain pills she saw her boyfriend using for months. To the naked eye, it was the same pill produced in a pharmaceutical lab. However the pill she ingested packed a lethal punch. It was laced with carfentanil, which is similar to fentanyl, but 10-100x stronger and used as an elephant sedative (click here to read about carfentanil). This beautiful young lady overdosed and died, proving the best way is to abstain completely.
This story, unfortunately, one of many OD stories, was very eye opening. I think the awareness of what is happening on the streets needs to increase quickly! I am fortunate to be hearing these things in the privacy of my own home in Florida, sober and out of harm’s way. The millions of people suffering from the disease of addiction are not all that privy to these facts or stories though. They are only concerned with one thing, finding that drink or drug to change the way they feel inside. In fact, I have heard horror stories from former heroin abusers. An overdose would have them chasing down the “strong dope” that just killed someone in the area.
Fake Prescription Medications and “Lacing”
The point that I want to reiterate is that although they have been increasingly harder to find inside and outside of the doctor’s office, the replication seems to be on the rise. These phony and obviously much more dangerous pills are selling for around $30 a piece. The profits are astronomical when these are produced in someone’s basement. All the manufacturer cares about is having a product that sells and keeps people coming back. Of course, they are making them as powerful as possible. This is all a numbers game. Why waste time at a doctor anymore when you can cut the middle man out of the equation. It only takes a pill press, aspirin, and the key ingredient (fentanyl, morphine, carfentanil) or “cut.” Some of these are probably sold online as “research chemicals” overseas ― this is the part that baffles me. I do not understand how these powerful, deadly opiates, which often come from Afghanistan poppy fields, are falling into so many different hands throughout the country.
Street Drugs Evolve
Whether it is fentanyl, carfentanil, phenacetin or procaine (veterinary drugs) the list of dangerous drugs to lace fake prescription pills, heroin or even some traditional uppers such as cocaine and crystal meth will continue to grow. Unfortunately, so does the number of drug users. How do we bring about awareness to these issues? When are the numbers of overdoses going to start decreasing? Maybe it is me, but the overdoses seem to be at an all-time high and the numbers last year were extremely high. The dealers/suppliers are finding new ways to keep this epidemic alive. It seems this epidemic is spiraling into an absolute mess that I didn’t see coming. However, I know there is a way out. That is why it hurts to see so many of my own generation still struggling.
Raise Awareness, Get Help
Sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers, I really think you need to take a close look at your families. Stay close to one another, support one another and be open and honest with each other. This epidemic will not last forever, but one of the biggest issues right now is lack of awareness. If you know somebody that is caught up in the mix of this epidemic, I guarantee there is a way out.
I am living proof along with countless others that there is a solution available. The other side of this, the recovery side is easier and opens up the doors to amazing things. I have recovered after losing a brother and without this place, I would not have made it. Countless others have recovered from addiction at Serenity Springs Recovery Center and they want to help everyone. Their solution to substance abuse is strong and effective, so please call if you know someone that needs it. This program is changing and bettering lives every day. Many families have recovered and become closer and stronger because of Serenity Springs.