When I was shuffling around the streets of lowertowm, a smart middle class boy trying to get straight, there were dangers, but none I felt afraid of for myself. There were drugs. Lots of drugs Heroin still took a few lives every month. And there was crack, which didn’t so much kill as destroy. And there were assholes adding antifreeze to Heroin.
Now there is Fentanyl. It’s not a street drug. It’s stolen straight from the hospital.It is use primarily in palliative care, for those with chronic and persistent pain. To ease the pain of the dying. It is, in essence a suicide drug.
And yet I was in the Emergency at the Monfort with COPD exacerbation (they happen) and in the next bed a young girl could barely articulate how much Fentanyl she had taken. She sounded barely alive but they brought her back with an opioid antagonist. I’m not sure she realized that she had taken a drug intended as an anesthetic for surgery.
Street culture is tight. Education can be effective. But only if it is not The Man threatening incarceration and blowing smoke.. We need to give these folk a thorough education on pharmacology. You can’t quit if you die first.