Deadly Fentanyl Being Sold Directly
The opioid crisis is taking an even deadlier turn as dealers are now selling fentanyl as a stand-alone product, dispensing with heroin altogether.
While drug traffickers and dealers once used fentanyl to spike the potency of the heroin they sold, the Drug Enforcement Agency said this week that sellers across the country are now packaging fentanyl for sale by itself.
“We didn’t see any separation of the two until this year,” said DEA agent Melvin Patterson. He called the sale of fentanyl by itself an emerging trend. “That’s what people are requesting, and that’s what agents are requesting undercover.”
“At the outset of the current crisis, illicit fentanyl originally entered illicit drug markets through heroin; fentanyl in powder form is used as an adulterant and mixed into heroin, oftentimes without heroin users knowing,” the DEA said in its 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment, which was released Monday. “It is increasingly more common for fentanyl to be mixed with adulterants and diluents and sold as heroin, with no heroin present in the product.”
Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin, leading unsuspecting users to overdose in record numbers. It is also being mixed into pills made to look like prescription meds.
Without testing, there is no way for users to know if they are taking fentanyl until it’s too late.
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Read more about Fentanyl at Newsweek.