Warnings are coming out of southern Ohio, a region suffering a rapid rise in heroin use, that synthetic drug makers are still making newer, more powerful drugs to serve that growing market. This time it's carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that is "100 times more powerful than fentanyl". You may remember that fentanyl is 50x more powerful than heroin.
The "arms race" between the drug addicted and the drug dealers is bounded only by death. The desire for more powerful drugs fuels the market for more powerful drugs, until people die. Carfentanil is already a drug tightly controlled for very limited use tranquilizing elephants. Side note: a typical elephant weighs between 6,000 and 12,000lbs., about 50 times the weight of the typical human.
Emergency responders are suffering shift fatigue in southern Ohio, serving sometimes 20 overdoses per day on just one shift. Medical sources say that more powerful doses of naloxone are needed there, to counteract the more powerful carfentanil.
We need solutions in the form of policy that provide for and encourage early treatment before the drug needs rise to deadly levels, to keep addicts from falling into this death spiral, and discourage the profitable markets that drug dealers exploit. Treatment, and intervention -- intervention at the sources of the drivers of addiction, which includes poverty and discrimination as well as mental health, physical health, community, and meaningful activity.