Opiate Overdose

Fentayl and xanax - opiate overdoseI was watching Morning Joe on MSNBC this morning and saw the interview with Eric Bolling regarding his son’s opiate overdose and death. I’m not fond of Bolling as a political pundit, but I once heard him talking about his son a few years ago – it was obvious that he truly loved his son and that they were not only father and son, but also very good friends. Eric’s son, Eric Chase Bolling, is a famous case of opiate overdose, and it’s good that Bolling’s speaking out about his son’s death — the more people who know the raw facts about opiate addiction the better.

Opiate use is complicated. We don’t want to demonize all opiates. There’s a medical use for opiates and they help millions of people daily. Chase Bolling was buying from a dealer and bought something way more powerful than he expected, from what I’ve read. The mixture Chase took included Fentanyl, and that’s dangerous because it’s so powerful. Fentanyl has a specific medical use and should never be used recreationally. Xanax was in the mixture and it’s also very dangerous to mix Xanax with opiates — this greatly enhances the probability of opiate overdose. Here’s an excerpt from an article about a fake Xanax that’s now sold as a party drug — read the whole article:

Buyer Beware

As with any drug off the street, buyers may not be getting what they bargained for – a counterfeit pill made to look like Xanax has been popping up nationwide.

And while it claims to be the real deal, these pills are really cut with fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic painkiller commonly prescribed to cancer patients to treat extreme discomfort.

Fentanyl is the strongest prescription painkiller on the market: 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin. And according to the Food and Drug Administration, even the smallest dose is enough to cause deadly side effects – especially in those taking it for the first time.

According to experts, a dose of fentanyl equal to the size of three grains of sand can kill. It’s also cheap and easy to obtain, which is music to dealers’ and street manufacturers’ ears – fentanyl is now the ideal ingredient to mix with other drugs.

 

 

Opiate overdose is a huge problem. It affects the rich, the middle class and the poor. If a person has a problem with opiates, help is available.

Synthetic Drugs

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Homemade drugs

Legislative action will do only so much to stop the spread of synthetic drugs. Many times legislative actions have unintended consequences that worsen the problem the actions are intended to solve. Prohibition seldom works when there’s a demand for drugs and the means to attain the drugs. Law enforcement will become overloaded as they attempt to stop the manufacturing of drugs as drugs become easier to manufacture.

One of the main problems with synthetic drugs is the maker. Users have no way to know if the synthetic drugs are made by people who know what they’re doing or just think they know what they’re doing. I imagine that the underground, illegal market will discover ways to improve quality control on their own, but first time users are always susceptible to dangerous concoctions.

The question of legalizing drugs or doubling down on law enforcement is interesting, but, in the meantime, drug users will use drugs and drug dealers will deal drugs. Until society’s legal response to drugs is settled, the best approach is to deal with the demand. Education is sorely needed, but getting the message out hasn’t succeeded so far. Perhaps media and our education system will develop ways to educate the public to the realities of drug use in general, but as long as society embraces some drugs but not others drug users will sense a hypocrisy that’s not easily defended.

The question people will ask is why can’t I make my own drug and get high if it’s legal for someone to buy beer and get high. Now that states are legalizing marijuana, the drug user will ask why they can’t manufacture Spice or some other synthetic drug. If the drug user is told that home-made drugs are dangerous, the user will need more information than just a stern warning that’s not backed by facts and experience. Those who’re fighting the battle against synthetic drugs will have to fight the battle of drug use in general.

It’s not a matter of stating that all drug use is bad and to just say no — it’s a matter of knowing the facts about drugs and delivering the facts in an intelligent and believable manner. The conflicts and contradictions regarding legal and illegal drugs must be answered before drug users are convinced, otherwise they’ll see their drug of choice singled out and will feel discriminated against, thus creating an even more ingrained attachment to the drug — as if they’re fighting for a cause. When using particular drugs is an act of rebellion, it’s appealing to many people.

Facts. honest talk and the consideration of innovative solutions take the power out of drugs — fear, simple prohibition and over-reaction make the problem worse.