The New Drug Beast Coming to a Street Corner Near You
Coming to a street corner near you, and probably way too close to home. Moms and dads, grab your kids off the streets. It does not care who it consumes. It is no respecter of persons, whatsoever.
Apache, China Girl, Dance Fever, Goodfella, King Ivory, Murder 8, TNT, Tango, or any number of other delectable candy bar sounding names, may already be a familiar drug of choice by the teenagers and young adults in your town. Introducing Fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that is 40 times stronger than heroin, 50 times stronger than morphine, and even stronger than just any other available opioid among its various derivative forms.
Fentanyl can be found in doctor-prescribed Actiq, Duragesic, and Fentora, which may already be on the end table next to your bed, or on the counter near your bathroom sink. It is meant to be used for short-term chronic-pain relief. But it is instead sending more than 160 people to early graves every day in America.
It is cheap. It is readily available. It is easily illegally made. And it is extraordinarily dependable for delivering the desired effect...relief, escape, or the thrill of a lifetime. The only problem is that the escape may be quite a short one, as even a small overdose of Fentanyl can be fatal.
"The War at Home"
Paul Solotaroff, in his eye-opening article about “The War at Home,” on the streets of Manchester, New Hampshire, describes this new wave of drug use as a silent killer, having taken the lives of 89% of the town’s drug-related deaths in 2016, with the promise of even more in 2017, and for years to come.
As it has been said in countless news stories in the last decade, illegal opioid use is “swamping America.” In comparison, the use of Fentanyl is more like “stomping” the life out of America’s youth.
Solotaroff describes a 20-year old Fentanyl user standing along Merrimack Street in Manchester, New Hampshire as already having the “sunken gaze of a life-long addict.”
No more lethal narcotic has ever hit America’s streets. It can be made locally, but tends to come more right now from foreign cartels who are willing to ship anywhere in America, especially wherever pain has become the norm…out of work, out of touch…but wracked with emotional and physical pain beyond belief.
But Fentanyl has also become the recreational drug of choice among teens and young adults who just want to up the ante on Friday night or weekend fun. Unfortunately, Fentanyl operates on no such calendar and wants to party down all day, every day. That’s addiction townees. And that’s what will bring this stuff even into your homes.
A Call to Action
What can be done? Like with most any other problem, the solution is simple, but the implementation is almost impossible…and that is to reduce demand. If people don’t use it, sales can’t get legs. And that's where you come in, moms and dads.
Parents and guardians at home…first, acknowledge its presence in the world in general. Learn about it online as much as you can. Then talk to your kids about its presence in their lives. Awareness all around is a good thing. Evil can’t hide in darkness when everyone’s turning on the lights.
If your child is already using Fentanyl, or even abusing it, and you are already considering a course of action, it is best to contact a doctor or even your local hospital's emergency services. Also available is the Parent Helpline at Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Getting your child proper treatment is better sooner than later.
When it comes to your children, making sure they know what's what, and keeping an open line of communication with them, might literally mean the difference between life and death.