A Deadly Dose
See how fentanyl hides in illegal opioids.
Fentanyl-laced opioids are more common and more deadly than you think. Opioid-related deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl have tripled in the last decade and account for 67% of all opioid overdose deaths in the United States. Any opioid that doesn’t come from a doctor could be laced with fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a cheap, synthetic opioid that can easily incapacitate you at best or at worst, kill you instantly.
Just 2 milligrams (the same amount as 2 grains of salt) can kill an adult like that. But illegal pills can be laced with even higher doses.
In 2018, fentanyl was responsible for 29% of all opioid overdose deaths in San Diego County.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, illegal opioids laced with fentanyl are being made in bulk then sent to the US for distribution. In a sample of illegal opioids nationwide, the DEA found that 27% were laced with lethal levels of fentanyl. It is unlikely your dealer even knows which pills are laced with fentanyl.
The majority of people who overdose on fentanyl don’t know they are taking it because their drugs were laced without their knowledge. After illegal manufacturers lace pills with fentanyl, those drugs go to dealers who may not know exactly what’s in each pill. As the pills are distributed, they go through many channels. The dealers and distributors all have the opportunity to cut their supply with fentanyl as well, which increases their profits before the illegal pill gets to you.
There are no safety standards for illegal opioids. Fentanyl is extremely cheap and incredibly strong. Manufacturers use fentanyl to deliver a cheaper high while cutting their own costs. The problem? Dosage is not regular, and even 2 milligrams of fentanyl is enough to kill someone.
Even if you trust your dealer or your friend who passed you a pill at a party, there’s no way to be sure that pill is safe. And you won’t know it has fentanyl until it’s too late.