Fentanyl is a prescription opioid usually provided for people in severe pain after undergoing surgery.
However, the number of drugs found to be mixed with fentanyl has steadily increased since 2007, with fentanyl being one of the leading causes of drug overdose each year.
A new and more alarming tendency has begun to take place in the United States, however, which severely endangers public health and safety.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has begun to note that sellers are packaging and pressing fentanyl into pills to appear as legitimate painkillers and stimulants.
This means that unsuspecting people purchase counterfeit pills made from meth and fentanyl. Fentanyl-laced meth is a dangerous combination which has caused over 56,000 fatalities in 2021 alone.
How To Identify Fentanyl Laced Meth
Unfortunately, fentanyl takes the appearance of many other common drugs — either white or a brownish tint — and can come in powdered or pill form amongst others.
As a result of this, it can be difficult to detect fentanyl mixed in with any kind of drug, let alone methamphetamine.
Luckily, affordable drug testing kits and fentanyl strips exist from a number of suppliers, with most strips costing as little as one dollar.
Fake Prescription Pills
One way to avoid taking fentanyl-laced prescription pills is to only source painkillers, stimulants, or other medications directly from a healthcare professional, doctor, or pharmacy.
Never trust any kind of medication or drug that you yourself did not pick up, receive by a healthcare official, or were given during an inpatient or outpatient hospital stay.
Fentanyl Test Strips
Fentanyl test strips can detect fentanyl in any kind of drug. Simply purchase a test strip, take the supposed substance and mix it with water, then put the strip in.
Once left in the soluble solution, the test strip will alert you to the presence, or lack thereof, of fentanyl in the substance by giving off a positive or negative result.
How Fentanyl Is Distributed
Fentanyl was created and manufactured in the early 1960s by licit pharmaceutical companies as an intravenous narcotic, but soon public safety alerts had to be put in place.
The potency of the drug as a replacement for heroin or other opioids caught on and saw truck deliveries and shipments stolen, illicit prescriptions made, and widespread abuse.
In recent years, China has produced the majority of fentanyl precursors and fentanyl analogs, but Mexico has become the main pipeline for the drug into the United States.
Drug Cartels From Mexico
Cartels in Mexico have been producing and trafficking the drug into the United States since 2013, causing a new overdose crisis.
An independent investigation conducted interviews, filed information requests, and scoured judicial files to discover the source of Mexico’s illicit drug trafficking trade.
These studies found that two major corporations produced much of the synthetic drug, but that many subcontractors were also taking advantage of the drug’s popularity.
These organizations laced fentanyl with other drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, and heroin to the point where people may not know it is in their product.
Cut Into Street Drugs Such As Meth
Since fentanyl is cheap, strong, and easily accessible, it has been laced into other common drugs to increase the supply of the base substance as well as boost its potency.
Why Is Fentanyl Laced Meth Dangerous?
Fentanyl laced with meth can be extremely dangerous, as methamphetamine, already unregulated and produced in meth labs, is impure and potent enough.
However, when mixed with a virtually undetectable drug that is 80x more powerful than morphine, fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths can be extremely common.
Additionally, since it is mixed with meth and many other drugs without the purchaser’s knowledge, people who use these laced drugs can unwittingly ingest a lethal dose.
Fentanyl Overdose Risk
One of the greatest and most immediate overdose risks of fentanyl is its powerful respiratory depressant properties.
Since it is so potent, unknowingly taking too much of the substance can inhibit the person’s ability to breathe, leading to a lack of oxygen in the brain and eventually hypoxic arrest.
Increased Risk Of Addiction
Fentanyl is highly addictive, so much so that drug dependence can form after even the first instance of drug use.
This drug latches onto the opioid receptors that regulate pain and emotions, so the body becomes immediately dependent on it for chemical and hormonal stabilization.
Addiction Treatment Programs For Methamphetamine Use
There are many substance use recovery programs available to treat methamphetamine addiction.
Some of these services include:
- inpatient and outpatient treatment programs
- residential treatment
- medication-assisted (MAT) treatment
Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
If you or a loved one are ready to recover from meth addiction, call our free helpline today to learn about treatment options at Bedrock Recovery Center.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates