Prescription pain killers are destroying lives in every state across the United States. Some new information is adding to the dangers involved in buying pain killers on the street in Rhode Island. A deadly designer drug called Acetyl Fentanyl is making headlines. Acetyl Fentanyl is not approved by federal regulators, not prescribed by doctors in any form and said to be 5 times more potent than heroin. It is also illegal in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is very little experimentation when it comes to dosing with Acetyl Fentanyl. Since it is so potent, taking a tiny bit more than normal can cause overdose leaving very little room for error and making the drug extremely deadly.
In Rhode Island, 14 individuals have overdosed in a few months do to Acetyl Fentanyl. Most of the people buying this designer drug illegally on the street thought they were buying "Oxycodone" because the drug was identical in size and color but obviously contained a opiate "punch" that lead to multiple deaths.
The Rhode Island Department of Health has done analysis with state laboratories and found the drug in the pills that were brought in for testing. Dr Michael Fine, the director for the Department of Health said, “With an average of four people dying per week due to drug overdoses, we need the people of Rhode Island to know what dangers are out on our streets.” People who may think they are buying Oxycodone on the street could actually be buying something that we know has already taken the lives of 14 people in Rhode Island.” Last month, Rhode Island received an $11 million, 5 year federal grant to target substance abuse by teens and young adults.
Rhode Island is not the only state having trouble with the designer drug Acetyl Fentanyl, according to the CDC, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs reported on June 27th that Acetyl Fenanyl was implicated in 50 fatal overdoses and five non-fatal overdoses across that state this year. The CDC is is asking state officials to do more testing on the drugs found in overdoses. What seems as a typical overdose from these pills needs to have more testing done to see what the active compound is. The typical enzyme-linked immunosorbent antibody test (ELISA) is inadequate to identify Acetyl Fentanyl. Remember buying drugs off the street, a friend, or off the internet can put you and your family at harm and even death. If you or anyone you know is addicted to opiates, get them help before it's too late.