Synthetic Drug Use Major Problem For Tennessee
According to DrugFreeWorld.org, a synthetic drug is “…created using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients.” This covers a huge category drugs, and including synthetic or “counterfeit” opioids, cannibinoids, ecstasy, and meth, among others.
The term is often used to denote drugs which are slightly altered versions of an original drug, a method used by illicit drug manufacturers to avoid legal repercussions and detection.
And sometimes, these drugs are created and distributed so rapidly it’s nearly impossible for the laws to keep up.
Last month, at least three people died in Tennessee after ingesting Percocet, a prescription opioid, with another synthetic drug.
Earlier last month, the Drug Investigation Division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a public warning about a dramatic increase in the prevalence of counterfeit prescription drugs in Tennessee.
Those drugs are thought responsible for more than two dozen overdoses in Rutherford County and Murfreesboro in the course of a week.
Agents arrested Johnny Williams, accused of selling counterfeit Percocet pills laced with Fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a potent opioid up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.
There’s no question to the dangers of using Fentanyl – according to toxicology reports, it is responsible for the untimely death of the artist Prince back in April.
And coroners can’t tell the difference between prescription Fentanyl, and fentanyl manufactured illicitly on the street.
Fentanyl has also been showing up laced into other drugs, such as heroin. You can buy a pill on the street, told its an oxycodone, but in reality, it’s laced or substituted with Fentanyl.
The appearance and early effects are indistinguishable, and its only when the person is the throes of an overdose that the disturbing truth becomes apparent.
By then, it may be too late. Fentanyl is so powerful, that even skin contact can cause an overdose.
Synthetic marijuana, commonly known by K2 and Spice, are also dangerous synthetic drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1400 people have contacted poison control centers in 2016 due to exposure to these drugs.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology