Cocaine and Fentanyl: A Lethal Combination on the Rise
Since 1999, the number of drug overdose deaths in the United States has quadrupled. The Opioid Epidemic has contributed greatly to this astounding increase. Among all the opioids which have claimed lives and caused addiction throughout the country in recent years, fentanyl is perhaps the deadliest and most addictive.
In fact, fentanyl is even more potent than morphine and heroin, and it killed about 24,000 Americans in 2017. Drug traffickers often mix fentanyl into heroin to increase its potency, but last year, law enforcement officials reported that traffickers have started to mix fentanyl with cocaine. According to DEA reports, this new move will endanger thousands of lives.
In 2018, according to the DEA, there was a 112% increase in samples of cocaine which contained fentanyl. While about 60% of these samples also contained heroin, there was an overall fall in the prevalence of heroin mixed with fentanyl. In Florida, a state where cocaine is Most taken, the DEA reported a “widespread adulteration of cocaine with fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances,” including carfentanil, an animal tranquilizer, in 2017. Authorities in Florida actually discovered traces of fentanyl in more than 180 cocaine samples.
That same year, fentanyl caused 57% of all fatal overdoses in New York City. In many cases, the overdose victim was using cocaine (which is already dangerous and illegal) and they weren’t aware that it contained fentanyl.