Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fentanyl-laced cocaine becoming a deadly problem

The CDC says fentanyl was found in more than half of overdose deaths last year in 10 states. Now, there's real concern as it creeps into cocaine. The DEA says 7% of cocaine seized in New England in 2017 included fentanyl, up from 4% in 2016. 
Adding fentanyl to cocaine is usually for the purpose of 'speedballing' which combines the rush of a stimulant, often cocaine, with a drug that depresses the nervous system, like opiods. It's a dangerous combination in any form.

In Ohio, a state where there isn’t enough morgue space for the number of incoming bodies, authorities are now struggling with deadly mixtures of methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl. For the fifth year in a row, Butler County (located in southwestern Ohio) announced a record overdose toll: 232 deaths, up 21% over 2016. Meth-related deaths quadrupled in 2017, while cocaine-related deaths doubled.

Police say dealers are always trying to find ways to make their product more potent, and more addictive. Numbers for 2017 are forthcoming, but the forecast appears grim: “Preliminary CDC estimates showed a 36% rise in Ohio deaths in the 12-month period ending August 2017"