The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has reported cocaine laced with the powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl, circulating in its surrounding cities.
Fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, has typically only been cut into harder drugs on the black market.
With the introduction of fentanyl-laced cocaine comes an alarming concern for extremely increased rates of potential overdose.
Cocaine can be used in much larger quantities in comparison to common opioids, and a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl could be the size of a grain of salt. Non-regular opioid users are also often more sensitive to the drug.
Last year, 37 per cent of lethal overdose victims in New York City had cocaine and fentanyl in their systems.
Furthermore, the presence of fentanyl makes substances vastly more addictive, resulting in even higher levels of use and even more chances of overdose - creating a vicious and dangerous cycle.
in 2013, the Tennessee bureau detected fentanyl in 12 samples of illegal drugs. This year so far, the powerful substance has been found in over 300 cases.
The drug's current circulation could easily reach markets in other southern states and on the east coast.
[Via: USA Today]
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