What is Bootleg Fentanyl?
What we refer to as “Bootleg Fentanyl” is an illegal product that is finding its way from countries such as China and Mexico into the US, Canada, The United Kingdom and many other free nations. As described in this article, illicit labs in these countries are exporting analogs such as furanyl-fentanyl and others.
This is not surgery Fentanyl.
To be clear, these drugs are not the same stuff that hospital use for surgeries every day. In fact, Fentanyl works very well to help make major surgical operations possible. Hence, if you are going in for surgery, you do not have to be concerned. While some prescription and hospital fentanyl finds its way to the streets, our biggest concern should be the illegal imports of various synthetics.
Tackling Grandmas in the airports.
Just as it would be foolish to fight terrorism by searching and taking down every grandmother who tried to get on a plane, it would be senseless to focus all anti-drug efforts on prescriptions opioids. While they are certainly a small part of the problem, The real issue today is fentanyl analogs coming across the borders. So, of course opioid addiction treatment is important, but getting these imported blackmarket drugs off the streets is equally important.
Chemical warfare against our best and brightest citizens.
In the sixties, the U.S. government feared a chemical attack by the Soviets using LSD to contaminate the water supply. If they had tried this ham-handed approach, it never would have worked. Unlike the LSD scare, feeding toxic synthetic opioids to the drug addicted population is far more insidious. Many of our most intelligent and creative citizens find themselves at some point in life mixed up with drugs. In many cases, drug addicted people grow out of their addiction. They tire of wasting their life and hurting their loved ones. They get clean and become incredibly productive members of our society. Yet, if an opioid addict is sold bootleg fentanyl, overdose death may cut their life short and prevent them from living out a fulfilling life. You might say that exporting bootleg fentanyl is a very target attack on our society.
How can we fight back?
In order to save our citizens, we can provide harm reduction, such as clean needles, heroin testing and Narcan. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with buprenorphine is another important element. On the other side of the equation, we must encourage our government to focus their efforts on stopping the production and illegal import of deadly, bootleg fentanyl.