Synthetic opioids are replacing heroin, bringing a wave of overdoses
Philadelphia’s heroin crisis has now morphed to the next level, and the result have been devastating.
The Guardian reports that on the streets of Kensington, a crisis is taking shape that an anti-drug advertising campaign proposed by Trump may do little to ease.
“Fentanyl has drastically changed the landscape,” Patrick Trainor from the DEA said. “Sixty-four percent of fatals in Philadelphia County are fentanyl-related. There’s no dope out here now, it’s all fentanyl. Even the old timers are scared of it.”
In Kensington, many addicts congregate in a small park. It has become busier since authorities fenced off and filled in “the Tracks”, an aptly named encampment near train lines where residents once set up tables and mirrors to aid fixing in the neck. Others moved to an underpass on Emerald Street, known as Emerald City.
Nationally, over the past three years, fentanyl-related deaths have increased by 540%. For the first time, the majority of fatal overdoses are fentanyl-related, accounting for “nearly all the increases in drug overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016”, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. In Philadelphia, a city previously known for pure and relatively inexpensive heroin, there have been nearly 800 fentanyl overdoses this year.
Street dealers compete for customers, selling high-purity drugs.
“We’ve seen purity of heroin jump from 63 to 93%, which is F@#$%#% insane,” said Trainor. “There’s no greater endorsement for a trafficker than when his product kills somebody. That’s not mythology. We see it all the time. We’ve had wiretaps of drug traffickers bragging how many people their drugs killed.”
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To learn more about how fentanyl is flooding the streets of Philadelphia, please visit The Guardian.