This is a photo of a lethal dose of Fentanyl from the DEA website.

Back when I was growing up, heroin was the opiate that was guaranteed to send you straight to hell. Junkies weren’t even considered a human life form; they were beneath the rest of us; an addiction to “junk” meant that something about you was not quite up to standard. Junkies lie and steal just to get their fix. We were taught this over and over in school. And anything could send you down the path; especially marijuana or cocaine. If you did any illicit drug, you were putting yourself at risk. They would point out the long list of celebrities that died from heroin overdoses: Janis Joplin, John Belushi, Jim Morrison- the list went on and on.

Then I met some people close to me that had addictions. Yes, a couple of them died. But they didn’t seem to be the dregs of society that my teachers characterized. They were people I knew; they would disappear for awhile and when I saw them again they’d say things like, “I’ve been sick”. They looked it; pale and undernourished. Heroin was bad, bad, bad.

Then along came Fentanyl. WAY more pure. Recently, a thirty pound stash was found in Boston; reportedly enough to overdose everyone in the state of Massachusetts. A one-hundred pound stash was found during a traffic stop on Ensenada, Mexico. How many people could that overdose?

Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, and Prince are all victims of this drug. These are artists I listened to when I was growing up. Now they are all worm food.

When the potency is this strong, the margin of error becomes tinier and tinier. A heroin overdose, as depicted on the films “Trainspotting” or “Pulp Fiction” could be survivable if it were caught in time. But Fentanyl?

We can’t go back to a world where this drug doesn’t exist.

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