Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid that is at least 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin as a painkiller. Fentanyl addiction is deadly, and overdoses caused by this powerful drug have tripled in Arizona from 2015 through 2017. Arizona and other U.S. states bordering Mexico have become the hotbed of the nation’s fentanyl crisis, as the Mexican drug cartels have been most active in trafficking what are nicknamed “Mexican oxy” pills in this area.
The Dangers of “Mexican Oxy”
Pills nicknamed Mexican oxy are being distributed at unprecedented rates across the southern border. These pills can sell for $9 to $30 each and are frequently taken recreationally at parties. Often, these pills are labeled as oxycodone but are actually fentanyl. Oxycodone is also an opioid, but it is much less potent than fentanyl. The amount of fentanyl in each Mexican oxy pill varies widely because these pills are manufactured in primitive conditions and stamped by pill presses to mimic the look of legitimate oxycodone pills. Because there is absolutely no regulation or quality control of Mexican oxy pills, users who take them often overdose by accident.
Although fentanyl is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and prescribed to cancer patients as a pain management treatment, the vast majority of fentanyl users take it recreationally and purchase it from drug dealers. In October 2018, a teenager named A. Chavez took a Mexican oxy pill at a Halloween party and died from an overdose on what contained enough fentanyl to kill 3 people. Even though he was administered naloxone overdose reversal medication, it was too late to save his life, and he died from a fentanyl overdose.
Fentanyl is a particularly popular party drug among users seeking the intense relaxation, euphoria, and sedation the pills provide. While some users believe fentanyl is safer than heroin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that fentanyl has actually caused more fatal overdoses.
Fentanyl is a dangerous drug, as users can easily overdose. Those who are addicted to fentanyl develop a tolerance over time, and must increase the dosage to achieve the same effect. This is extremely risky. Taking oxycodone recreationally is an also serious risk, especially if the user cannot tell the difference between a real oxycodone pill and a fake “Mexican oxy” pill containing potentially lethal doses of fentanyl.
Don’t let fentanyl addiction take over your life. Contact our team at Decision Point Center by calling (844) 292-5010 to learn more about how we can help you achieve lasting sobriety.