Fentanyl users can barely stand. On the streets of Philadelphia, USA, entire groups of addicts lie motionless on the ground, unable to control their movements or impulses. The harsh reality of fentanyl is spreading like wildfire across the United States. To understand the current crisis of 100,000 overdose deaths, we have to go back to the late 1990s, when painkillers ended up in supermarkets and medicine cabinets uncontrolled or with prescriptions.
This is what Claudio Vidal, director of Energy Control, says, explaining: “There was out-of-control pharmaceutical capitalism.” “With Oxicontyn came a demand for opioids that had already emerged when the restriction began and heroin to a significant extent these painkillers were replaced,” Vidal added.
Since then, tens of thousands of people have become addicted. And as painkillers were withdrawn from stores, they began looking for them illegally on the streets. This is the case of Megan Defranco, a former addict who asserted in statements to the Voice of America: “Unfortunately, at this point you are already addicted and you cannot live without it.”
Came to replace heroin
Fentanyl replaced heroin, but has a 50 times stronger narcotic effect. A cheap, synthetic drug manufactured by Mexican cartels. The pioneer was Chapo Guzmán. Now a dose costs about $20. A kilogram of fentanyl costs $1,000, and profits of up to one and a half million dollars can be achieved on the black market.
There are currently no records of illegal consumption in Spain. Claudio Vidal has stated that his “analysis services and field work did not detect any fentanyl.” In recent years, law enforcement has confiscated just 336 grams. Of those, 291 corresponded to a single interception.
The Spanish healthcare system, both public and private, exercises strict control over this substance and is limited to hospitals in cases of oncological diseases and major trauma.