The War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is killing innocent people. We have seen a dramatic increase of opioid related deaths from Fentanyl in Western Canada. Last year alone there were over 400 Fentanyl-related deaths here.
Fentanyl is being made in clandestine labs in China because of the crack down on the abuse of OxyContin which was being prescribed at a higher rate per person than any other country on the planet. The resulting change in formula of the OxyContin meant that they could no longer be snorted, smoked or injected. This created a vacuum on the streets which was easily filled by knock-off OxyContin that was actually made up of Fentanyl.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a fast acting synthetic opioid used for breakthrough pain and is 80-100 times stronger than morphine and 40-50 times stronger than pharmaceutical heroin (100% diamorphine). This means than what would have been 80 mgs of oxycodone (generic name for the drug in OxyContin) is now somewhere around 1 mg of illicit Fentanyl.
Now we are dealing with a much more powerful narcotic that is a very strong agonist at the opioid receptors in the body and so is much easier to overdose on and much harder to knock off the receptors with narcan/naloxone in the event of overdose. Thank you, War on Drugs!
Of course, law makers and politicians know this. During alcohol prohibition, wine and beer were replaced by gin and whiskey, and prices climbed as much as 100%.
Now if this situation was not terrifying enough then wait for the next bit: last year four pounds of W-18 was seized in a drug raid in Edmonton, Alberta.
W-18 is another synthetic opioid, while not closely related to opioids in structure, is reportedly 100 times more potent than Fentanyl.
This trend of blind enforcement has brought us to this place. Whether it be strange research chemicals that have come to the market in place of MDMA or even synthetic cannabis – both are causing hospitalization and death.
I’ll be the first to admit that there aren’t easy answers to the problems we face, but at the moment the War on Drugs is a self inflicted wound that only seems to be getting worse instead of better. Please consider supporting Harm Reduction practices and legalization to help remove this blight on humanity.