In recent years there has been an immense effort to combat the availability of an opioid drug, such as fentanyl, in Massachusetts, which was brought about by an increased rate of opioid-induced death. Fentanyl, a Class B controlled substance under Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 94C, Section 31, is used to cut other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, and is extremely addictive. The use of fentanyl skyrocketed because it has the effect of enhancing the potency of other drugs that it is mixed with, but this is also what makes fentanyl so incredibly dangerous.
Move Over Fentanyl, Carfentanil is the Newest Opioid
Use of a new synthetic opioid is quickly stripping fentanyl of its former popularity, at least in the midwest portion of the country. Carfentanil is a powerful drug that is one hundred times more potent than fentanyl and ten thousand times stronger than morphine. Merely handling carfentanil incorrectly can be fatal if the drug enters the bloodstream through a cut or is inhaled. It is commonly used as an elephant tranquilizer and more and more opioid users are trying and using this new drug.
With how difficult a time Massachusetts is having managing the fentanyl epidemic already, there is much concern that law enforcement, laboratory technicians, and healthcare workers are inadequately prepared to handle the situation if incidents of carfentanil use begin to appear in New England, according to a recent Boston Globe article. The fear exists because there is such a high rate of fentanyl use in the surrounding states, that there is a distinct likelihood that carfentanil will find its way to Massachusetts.
There is much mystery surrounding the new drug, since the use of the drug in humans has not been clinically tested, and there is no research to show what minimum dosing amount is required to incapacitate or kill someone. Furthermore, it is unclear if naloxone, the commonly deployed drug used to treat opioid overdoses, will be effective against a carfentanil overdose. It could take several times the normal dosage of naloxone to save an addict from overdosing on carfentanil. With opioid-induced fatalities at an all-time high, the introduction of carfentanil into the Massachusetts area would likely produce a further increase in opioid death rates.
Getting Caught With Opioids
Since fentanyl, heroin, and other opioids are already such a problem in Massachusetts, and now there is the new threat of carfentanil, law enforcement in Massachusetts has stepped up its game when it comes to opioid drug users. Massachusetts law enforcement is actively trying to keep these drugs off the street in order to save lives. People will be caught, and when they are, they will need a strong criminal defense to make sure that they receive fair treatment under the law for their drug offense.
If you have been arrested in possession of opioid drugs, such as heroin or fentanyl, you need to get in touch with an experienced drug offenses criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.