Erika Kinetz, AP -  The new killer opioid drug - Carfentanil from China

Erika Kinetz, AP
The new killer opioid drug
Carfentanil from China


In just the last 2 years, the sad story of drug addiction in America has entered a new era…the era of fentanils. Fentanils are a potentially endless series of chemical variations on the synthetic opioid drug fentanyl. Most of them are connected to heroin use, a fentanyl-type powder will be used as a substitute, or more likely a supplement, a booster for the heroin itself. The fenanils not only raise the octane of the smack, they lower its cost.

Most of the fentanyl drugs are dangerous, with the current champion being carfentanil, described by chemists as 100 times as potent as fentanil which is itself 50 times as powerful as heroin. Let’s cut from the chemistry to the chase…in late June, Canadian Border Police intercepted a package that had a kilogram of carfentanil in it, or as the Canadian authorities put it, “50 million lethal doses, more than enough to wipe out the entire population of the country.”

That intercepted kilogram of carfentanil probably sold for less than $4000. That works out to less than a tenth of a cent per lethal dose. A speck in a mite’s eye of carfentanil can kill you.

Here’s what happens when carfentanil comes to town: According to the DEA, In just 3 weeks in July, paramedics in Akron, Ohio, logged 236 overdoses, including 14 fatalities, linked to carfentanil. In the first six months of this year, there had been a total of 320 overdoses of all kinds.

Buying carfentanil online isn’t just cheap, but easy, — about as easy, our guest today, Shanghai-based Associated Press investigative reporter Erika Kinetz has written, as buying a pair of shoes, — and DEA investigators say, like most shoes, virtually all the synthetic opioid drugs in the world today are manufactured in China and 80% of them are consumed in the USA.



Eric Kinetz is an investigative reporter for the Associated Press (AP) based in Shanghai, China.



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