In recent times, not only are people using fentanyl alone recreationally and illegally, there are individuals who are using other drugs into which fentanyl is mixed. In some instances, people know that fentanyl is mixed with another mind-altering substances. In other cases, individuals are unaware that fentanyl has been mixed into another drug they have obtained or are using. The reality is that the mixing of fentanyl with other drugs is a major reason why fentanyl-related drug overdoses have been occurring in California and across the United States.
Drugs Most Commonly Mixed With Fentanyl
The drugs that most commonly mixed with fentanyl are:
Street Drugs Mixed With Fentanyl
As mentioned previously, in some cases people realize that fentanyl has been mixed with another drug, in some instances they do not. When it comes to illegal drugs, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana are the substances that are most often mixed with fentanyl. As an aside, there are jurisdictions where marijuana is legal for medical and recreational uses. With that said, even in these locales there remains an illegal trade in illicit marijuana. It is via this illegal trade of marijuana that pot laced with fentanyl still can be found.
Fentanyl and Heroin
Heroin users, abusers, and addicts encounter fentanyl in one of four ways:
- Heroin dealers sometimes substitute fentanyl for heroin outright. At this juncture in time, fentanyl is cheaper and dealers can up their bottom line by providing their clients fentanyl in place of heroin. In these situations, the drug user, abuser, or addict is not aware that fentanyl is being provided in place of heroin. The risk of fentanyl overdose is significant in this type of situation. Fentanyl is significantly more powerful than heroin. Thus, if a person uses fentanyl at the same level he or she may use heroin, that individual faces an extremely high likelihood of overdosing. Fatal overdoses are alarmingly common in this type of scenario.
- In the alternative, heroin dealers mix that drug with fentanyl. Cutting heroin in this way serves two purposes. First, it lowers the cost for a manufacturer. Second, the presence of fentanyl usually heightens the high for a user. Thus, a dealer is able to sell the drug(s) as being of higher quality heroin. Heroin dealers do not inform their clients that their drug of choice has been cut with fentanyl. Heroin users, abusers, and addicts who do not know their drug of choice has been cut in this manner are at a greater risk for overdose, including fatal overdose.
- Another way in which heroin is cut with fentanyl follows the pattern just described, with one alteration. There is a relatively common scenario in which a dealer tells clients that he has heroin cut with fentanyl. The dealer “sings the praises” of heroin cut with fentanyl. Even though the mixture is cheaper for a dealer, a dealer will charge a client more for heroin cut with fentanyl. A dealer contends that the high is significantly better. A user, abuser, or addict is at a high risk in this type of situation as well. With that said, in theory a user armed with the knowledge that heroin has been cut with fentanyl may use the mind-altering substance in small portions. In theory, that can lower the risk of overdose. In reality, overdose remains high in this type of scenario as well.
- Finally, there are situations in which a heroin dealer will encourage clients to buy fentanyl in addition to heroin. This scenario also heightens the risk of overdose. A user, abuser, or addict likely will end up using both heroin and fentanyl at the same time. This is a situation ripe for overdose and the risk of fatal overdose is significantly heightened when both drugs are used simultaneously.
Fentanyl and Cocaine
Cocaine is cut with fentanyl in the same way as heroin. In addition, there are situations in which users, abusers, and addicts are sold cocaine and fentanyl with the recommendation that the resulting high obtained by using both drugs simultaneously is “outstanding.” The risk of overdose, including fatal overdose, is significant.
Fentanyl and Marijuana
The situation involving fentanyl and marijuana is a bit different. There are scenarios in which powdered fentanyl is mixed with marijuana. This is done to make a high “more intense.” In most situations, a user, abuser, or addict is aware that this has occurred. A user pays more for the addition of fentanyl with marijuana. Even when fentanyl is mixed with marijuana rather than heroin or cocaine, the risk of overdose is significant.
Prescription Drugs Mixed With Fentanyl
Fentanyl ends up mixed with or mixed up with prescription drugs in a number of different ways. First, on the illicit drug market, there are counterfeit versions of different prescription drugs that are made from fentanyl rather than the intended drug. Sometimes users, abusers, and addicts know that a medication is counterfeit, sometimes such an individual does not know.
Another scenario that develops with alarming frequency involves a person who has been misusing some type of prescription medication (either legally or illegally obtained). Over time, the high experienced with the drug of choice becomes less gratifying. In that situation, a growing number of people are moving towards using fentanyl to “enjoy” a better high.
The bottom line is that fentanyl mixed with other drugs is a serious health crisis in this day and age. The combination of fentanyl with other drugs significantly enhances the risk of overdose and jeopardizes the lives of people who ingest a fentanyl drug combination.