Hardly a day goes by but what I read about a fentanyl overdose. I’ve also noticed an increased number of news articles about people from the entertainment industry dying unexpectedly. I always assume unexpected deaths among otherwise healthy people are drug related. According to the National Safety Council, more than 67,000 people died of fentanyl overdoses in 2021.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports many drugs (if not most) bought off the street contain fentanyl.
There is significant risk that illegal drugs have been intentionally contaminated with fentanyl. Because of its potency and low cost, drug dealers have been mixing fentanyl with other drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, increasing the likelihood of a fatal interaction.
Not only are illicit drugs adulterated with fentanyl, many of the supposed prescription drugs, bought off the street, were not made in pristine factories where drugs at your local pharmacy came from. You can buy pill presses on eBay to stamp your own pills. I suspect that someone with connections could even obtain pill stamping dies with the engravings to make counterfeits of FDA-approved drugs. The DEA reports that as little as 2mg of fentanyl can be lethal depending on body size and other variables, saying:
Producing illicit fentanyl is not an exact science. Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage. DEA analysis has found counterfeit pills ranging from .02 to 5.1 milligrams (more than twice the lethal dose) of fentanyl per tablet.
- 42% of pills tested for fentanyl contained at least 2 mg of fentanyl, considered a potentially lethal dose.
- Drug trafficking organizations typically distribute fentanyl by the kilogram. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.
It is possible for someone to take a pill without knowing it contains fentanyl. It is also possible to take a pill knowing it contains fentanyl, but with no way of knowing if it contains a lethal dose.
Remember the second bullet, one kilo of fentanyl is enough to kill 500,000 people because I plan to come back to that. I’ve often said that drug users seemingly trust unknown drug makers with their lives, while I wouldn’t even trust them to change the oil in my German cars. Consider this: the same street pill sold to the 275-pound male with extensive drug experience is also sold to the 105-pound high school girl who is experimenting with drugs for the first time. Furthermore, I wonder how drug sellers convey a drug’s potency?
Last Friday, September 15, four kids became unresponsive at a daycare in the Bronx, a New York City borough. One child had already been picked up by his mother, while the other three were taken to the emergency room. The three who went to the emergency room were treated with Narcan (Naloxone), the opioid overdose recovery drug. They survived. The one with his mother was later taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead.
According to the New York Post, it was an “open secret” that the Bronx daycare was a front for selling drugs. Purportedly it was a daycare for over a year despite having no children until a few months ago. A neighbor claimed the owner did not even care for her own child at her daycare. According to the New York Post:
When cops raided the place Friday, they found a kilo of fentanyl under mats the kiddies slept on, as well as several kilo presses — devices typically used to combine the drug with either cocaine or heroin — inside the day care.
Remember earlier how the DEA said a kilo is enough fentanyl to kill 500,000 people? Presumably, 500,000 people equates to several million babies. Just the residue was enough to sicken the children. I repeat: the police found a kilo of fentanyl in the daycare and more than one pressing device. An article in USA Today said the daycare owner warned her husband by text message. Another article claimed she called her husband several times before calling 911. He is still at large but he managed to delete 21, 526 text messages dating back to 2021 from an encrypted messaging app on his phone. A news article also said the husband came and retrieved several bags, seen to be weighted down on surveillance video, and left out the back, alley door. What was found by the police was apparently missed in the shuffle. If he left with two or three bags that were weighted down one can only wonder what was more important than the kilo of fentanyl and pill presses he left behind. The three suspects in this case do not strike me as the kind of people I would trust to formulate substances that can kill so easily.