Dangerous drugs are flooding our streets and the overdose rate is steadily climbing, taking more and more lives every year—in greater numbers than murders and car accidents combined.
Drugs have always been a part of our culture but the problem is the worst that it has ever been, according to Special Agent in Charge James Hunt of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“As far as the influx of heroin, we’re seeing 10 times more than we had 10 years ago,” Hunt said. “Fentanyl is probably 10 times more than it was two years ago.”
Hunt said that fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, is coming mainly from China and the dark web.
“Fentanyl is a game changer,” he said. “As bad as heroin and cocaine are alone, mixed with fentanyl, you’re playing with your life.”
The near-death overdose of superstar Demi Lovato was reportedly from pills laced with fentanyl. The man who gave them to her told TMZ he didn’t know what was in them.
Fentanyl acts quickly, according to Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician.
“You basically lose the urge to breathe, carbon dioxide builds up in your bloodstream, and you can die from lack of oxygen,” he said.
Hunt said that fentanyl has found its way into K2, which is marketed with brand names and colorful packaging to appeal to teens and has caused many overdoses. K2 is often called synthetic marijuana but Hunt said that is false advertising and a marketing gimmick.
“It’s a chemical compound that’s very dangerous,” Hunt said. “You may get some of the initial effects but it can make you very, very ill. And it can kill you.”
Over the last several years, the DEA has identified over 400 different chemical compounds called K2 that can be especially harmful to teens.
“It can actually rewire their brain and it can lead to ongoing mental health issues, including psychosis,” Glatter said. “And even increase the risk of long-term mental illness.”
Overdoses have happened in restaurants, schools, stores, and other public places.
New York State has a 911 good Samaritan law that protects you from arrest if you call for help for yourself or another person.
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers
DR. ROBERT GLATTER, ER Physician, Lenox Hill Hospital
MELISSA MOORE, Deputy State Director, New York, Drug Policy Alliance
LT. HENRY MARRERO, Retired, North Bergen Police Department