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Fentanyl Makes Experimenting With Drugs Deadlier than Ever

Marcel Gemme By Marcel Gemme | Last Updated: 3 May 2024
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As overdose rates skyrocket across the country, everyone is becoming more familiar with the substance fentanyl, a deadly opiate that is responsible for a large percentage of these overdose deaths. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. The scary thing about fentanyl is that it is often added to other illicit substances to increase their potency. Drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth are spiked with fentanyl, and unsuspecting users are dying.

Experimenting with Drugs is Nothing New

Experimentation with drugs is something that many young adults do. As individuals grow older and get more freedom, they are more open to trying things they would never consider in their early teens. While many begin with using alcohol and marijuana, some experiment with harder drugs.

Whether it’s boredom or curiosity, the reasoning for this experimentation can be due to several different things, but there is no denying that it is happening. A UCL Social Research Institute report claims that 10% of children have tried hard drugs by age 17. This statistic may not be all that surprising, and the idea that teenagers are using drugs is not shocking. But what is alarming is the threat many young, unsuspecting teenagers face.

Adolescent Fentanyl Deaths on the Rise

This 10% of children who have experimented with hard drugs, where fentanyl is rampant, are in grave danger, and many are ignorant of the fact. This is evident when you look at recent research. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, fentanyl deaths among adolescents almost doubled from 2019 to 2020. This fatality rate continued to rise an additional 20% from 2020-2021.

Before the days of fentanyl, drug experimenting was a learning experience for many young adults. They would try something they knew they weren’t supposed to, and it would be a sort of rush of its own. While tragedies did occur, a lot of experimentation ended with the realization, “I am never doing that again!”. This unspoken rite of passage wasn’t encouraged, but it was there, and for many, it was a short phase of what would eventually be a long and healthy life.

Now there is fentanyl, but the problem is no one knows where.

Fentanyl is Killing Unsuspecting Teens

While fentanyl is sold by itself, there have been traces of fentanyl found in heroin, cocaine, meth, and even marijuana. There are even fentanyl pills that are pressed to look like other legitimate prescription drugs. Young adults are being solicited these drugs online via social media, and many are dying. While poor decision-making may play a role in these tragedies, it is imperative to understand that this happens to children and younger adults who are actively deceived by drug dealers looking to profit.

Bad Choices Shouldn’t be Fatal Ones

The poor decisions that many individuals make would not be deadly if they took the drug they believed they were. For example, a 16-year-old died after taking a Xanax he bought from someone on Snapchat. The pill was fake and laced with fentanyl. While taking a benzo unprescribed is unhealthy, it would be very rare for one Xanax pill to kill someone.

Poor decisions are being made under false pretenses, causing people to lose their lives. Experimenting with drugs has evolved. It is no longer a rite of passage or a phase. It is a game of Russian roulette. The best weapon to combat this is drug education. This can prevent the use of these illicit substances, so the chances of encountering fentanyl in any form are minimal.

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.