It has been reported that a new opioid that is just two milligrams of it can kill you. This new drug is 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Now, five overdose deaths in Minnesota are being blamed on Carfentanil and Federal authorities are on the case.
Russian agents have reportedly used the substance in their assassination attempts, and it is reported that the synthetic opiate was never meant for humans due to its lethality. Carfentanil has still found its way on the street of Minnesota, and other states via Darknet markets.
According to Joseph Lee, a medical director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Youth Continuum, Black market economics which includes the Darknet markets changed a lot in the past few years. Bitcoin as an anonymous, encrypted digital currency is a major catalyst in bringing Carfentanil into the mainstream drug trade. It is mostly ordered online and mailed into the hands of the American drug dealers.
Carfentanil has labs popping up across the world, many in China, even though China denies being the main supplier. The products are shipped in the mail to people who cut it into other drugs. Dealers who buy Carfentanil and cut it into heroin and other drugs purposely do that to boost their profit margin. It is relatively cheap, and super potent, making it enticing to some dealers.
Dr. Lee also attributed how easier it is for people to trade illicit drugs like carfentanil, to the popularity of bitcoin. Labs setup on the dark web will, therefore, provide some sophistication and security for buyers on the Darknet market.
“These shops online in the dark web started to become like Amazon,” according to Dr Lee. “There are reviews giving people confidence in what they’re getting,” he added.
The dealers do not usually know what they are doing when mixing drugs. In the process, mixing mishaps happen and as a result, people die.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is pushing a bill in Congress that will stop synthetic drugs from making their way into the U.S.
Dr Lee in his comment on the bill said it would be helpful, but only a start to ending the problem. “This route of getting drugs onto our streets is probably not going to go away quickly, unfortunately,” he said. “Even if we shut down labs in China, there will be other secretive labs in different places, maybe even here in the United States,” he added.
The Legislation to Address Overdose Spike from Synthetic Opioids
Due to the increasing dosage of Synthetic Opioids, legislation to address this problem is active. The Bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention Act will help to close the loophole and stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through Canadian and US borders.
Klobuchar explained about this implementation that “Dangerous synthetic drugs that find their way into our communities from overseas through the postal system continue to claim the lives of teenagers and adults in Minnesota and across the country.” She added that “in the face of these tragedies, we need to step up efforts to stop these synthetic drugs from coming across our borders from foreign countries in the first place. Our new bipartisan legislation will give law enforcement the tools they need to help curb the trafficking of synthetic drugs and keep them out of the hands of our children.”
A Texas man faces persecution for selling fentanyl, and this shows how serious legislators and authorities have become in stopping drug trafficking.
Klobuchar is a former Hennepin County State Attorney and has worked hard at ending the drug trade in her state. But she has also tried to address the problem of drug addiction and abuse. Early this year, Klobuchar with Senators Lindsey Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Grassley, Thom Tillis, Mark Warner, John Cornyn and Richard Blumenthal, introduced the bipartisan Synthetic and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act. This act will make it easier to prosecute the sale of analog drugs. These are synthetic substances that are substantially similar to illegal drugs shipped from the Darknet market like the Apple Market.
Klobuchar was one of the four senators, including Senators Portman, Kelly Ayotte, and Whitehouse to lead the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. The bipartisan bill was signed into the law last July, and it encourages states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies. The strategy is in the fight against opioid addiction.
$1 billion was given by Congress at the end of 2016. The aim of this is to fund the national efforts.
The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act was introduced by the Klobuchar to build on a monumental first step of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act requires the use of prescription drug monitoring program in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse. It also requires states to make PDMP data available to other states.
Also, Klobuchar and Senator Joe Manchin made an introduction of the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act to establish a permanent funding stream. This aims to provide and expand the access to substance abuse treatment.
Consumers are provided with more and safe responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medic budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment action and controlled substances.