Fentanyl: Don't Fuck With That Shit - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Fentanyl: Don’t Fuck With That Shit

Fentanyl: Don’t Fuck With That Shit

Published August 26, 2016

Photos by
Crohnie/Wikimedia Commons

Last weekend, some sad news came to light that brought back some bad memories for me, and shock and grief to a lot of other people. Namely, a young man passed away from taking Fentanyl, a powerful hospital-grade opiate. In fact, the deaths of two people this year can be tied to the drug, and about two dozen deaths are now being investigated in connection with it.

As a lot of you know, I originally hail from Baltimore. There’s a lot of good things about my hometown, but its appetite for opiates is not one of them. Heroin is widespread, and every year there would be an outbreak of “China White,” the colloquial and confusing media name given to Fentanyl. The bodies would pile up, with anywhere from a handful to dozens of deaths reported. Fentanyl being anywhere from 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, even seasoned addicts would drop like flies.

I won’t bore you with my own personal horror stories with opiate addiction. You’ve heard them from others a million times over. And if you’ve dabbled in harder drugs and discovered that, despite the warnings of state-funded PSAs, you did not actually become instantly hooked or die immediately from taking a bump of meth or a hit off a base pipe, then you probably think the warnings about Fentanyl must be blown out of proportion, too.

I can assure you, from firsthand experience within that world, that fentanyl is not something you want to fuck with.

They aren’t. Fentanyl is bullshit. Don’t fuck with that shit.

This isn’t some kind of moral-panic junky’s lamentation I’m giving you here. As someone who struggled with and eventually overcame opiate addiction myself, I can assure you, from firsthand experience within that world, that Fentanyl is not something you want to fuck with. I’ve known people who had been regular heroin users most of their adult lives, folks who had the tolerance of a rampaging elephant, who ended up just as dead from Fentanyl as any young person just looking to have some recreational fun. Addiction is the least of your worries when it comes to Fentanyl.

One of the more insidious things about Fentanyl is the fact that it carries with it the aura of safety, being a professionally produced pharmaceutical. This gives the impression that it must be safe and free of impurities. The thing is, though, is that Fentanyl is administered under the strict supervision of a medical professional. Some guy who has some Fentanyl patches or a Fentanyl lollipop is not a medical professional. Not having to worry about impurities in your Fentanyl is like not having to worry about trans fats in the gun being aimed at your head.

Seeing the news of this young man’s death made me profoundly sad. It made me think of the people I once knew back home, people who left this world all too soon, leaving in their wake a tearing wound across the hearts of friends and family that will never completely heal. It fills me with dread to consider that it is all too possible Fentanyl will gain any kind of foothold in Iceland.

So if you never heed any words I say about anything else I write, please believe me when I say to you: don’t fuck with that shit.

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