Written by, Ivy Chase
Acetyl fentanyl, a potent narcotic, also known as China White, has turned up in California, killing 4 people in Orange County last year and 8 people in Sacramento in the past month. Police have put the blame on the Mexican drug cartels for distribution in the past, but unfortunately the DEA are finding acetyl fentanyl being made much closer to home.
Fentanyl is so strong that a deadly dose of it can be less than one twenty-fifth of a sugar packet. The drug has been used as a painkiller as well as anesthesia in the medical field, since the 1960’s. Today, it remains the most powerful opioid on the market.
It’s taken just a decade for drug traffickers to come up with a replication, creating chemical variants such as acetyl fentanyl, a derivative that can be up to 50 times more powerful than heroin, selling to users on the streets. The drug seems to be making a resurgence currently, riding a wave of heroin abuse fueled by the prescription drug epidemic.
An OC crime lab professional and forensic chemist, Jennifer Harmon, states, “We have a lot of heroin users seeking stronger highs because they’ve become tolerant to heroin. It’s very scary to see a drug that’s considered the most powerful, most potent, most toxic opioid available for prescription use being illicitly manufactured.”
Users say it turns a regular high, high-er. Some don’t even know they’re taking it, due to the occasional mix with heroin and cocaine. It’s also sold under different names including Norco, the pharmaceutical version of which is like Vikodin, a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
The OC Sheriff’s dept. made a statement saying, the drug is less expensive and way more potent than other opioids and believe it’s getting here from China and Mexico, coming through Southern California- a major narcotics corridor.”
It has been seen in Orange County in forms that mimic prescription drugs, tar heroin and cocaine. This is advanced chemistry, making the chemical fentanyl is a lot more complicated than cooking meth. The number of fentanyl seizures by the DEA reported to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System sky rocketed to 4,585 in 2014 from 618 in 2012. Most of these seizures happened in about 10 different states, California not being one of them.
Opioid abuse and fentanyl addiction is a common problem among many American adults today. At Anaheim Lighthouse, we provide a safe, comfortable detox and offer treatment targeting the root issues which lead to drug or alcohol abuse. We believe that everyone deserves another chance at recovery.