Cheaper and far more potent, the synthetic painkiller is becoming the drug of choice for some addicts — and is killing them more quickly.
LAWRENCE, Mass. — When Eddie Frasca was shooting up heroin, he occasionally sought out its more potent, lethal cousin, fentanyl.
“It was like playing Russian roulette, but I didn’t care,” said Mr. Frasca, 30, a carpenter and barber who said he had been clean for four months. When he heard that someone had overdosed or even died from fentanyl, he would hunt down that batch.
“I’d say to myself, ‘I’m going to spend the least amount of money and get the best kind of high I can,’ ” he said.
Fentanyl, which looks like heroin, is a powerful synthetic painkiller that has been laced into heroin but is increasingly being sold by itself — often without the user’s knowledge. It is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin and up to 100 times more potent then morphine. A tiny bit can be fatal.
In some areas in New England, fentanyl is now killing more people than heroin. In New Hampshire, fentanyl alone killed 158 people last year; heroin killed 32. (Fentanyl was a factor in an additional 120 deaths; heroin contributed to an additional 56.)
“It sort of snuck up on us,” said Detective Capt. Robert P. Pistone of the Haverhill Police Department in Massachusetts. He said that a jump in deaths in 201by heroin, but that lab tests showed the culprit was fentanyl.
*NOTE FROM ‘SHOCK EDITOR’
Is it strange that ‘every’ war America has been involved in | the drug of that country has ended up on the streets of most major cities in the US? Heroin is plentiful in ‘Afghanistan’ …just saying… it seems to be done by design …smh