Chris Bennett died of a fatal opioid overdose in November 2017. A pipe was found next to his lifeless body – an indicator of the fact that he had been doing drugs. Toxicology reports indicated a deadly mix of cocaine and fentanyl in the system of this 32-year-old man.
His mother Liisa Bennett blames fentanyl for causing her son’s death. While she was aware that her son was using crack cocaine occasionally, she believed he stayed clear of opioids for as long as 10 years. She had warned him earlier that fentanyl-laced products were making inroads in America and made sure that he wasn’t using adulterated heroin. She never imagined that an occasional use of crack cocaine would become the cause of his death.
Bennett’s example is one of the many instances of fentanyl-laced cocaine overdoses. Students often snort cocaine in parties or in college campuses and most of them do not have access to the lifesaver drug naloxone. In addition, many other habitual cocaine users snort the drug alone or in solitude, which increases the risk of a fatal condition as help is not at hand.
New wave of fentanyl-laced products
Commenting on the precarious situation, Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan said, “Law enforcement tells us that the next wave of the addiction crisis is fentanyl-laced cocaine.” In Connecticut, the reports of the Chief Medical Examiner on the state’s accidental drug intoxication deaths indicted fentanyl and cocaine mix for 220 deaths in 2017, up from 42 in 2015, a whopping increase in a span of just two years. Quite recently, batches of fentanyl-laced cocaine and heroin landed in Lowell, Massachusetts resulting in four deaths within 12 hours. It resulted in increased vigilance and authorities encouraging people to contact them immediately in case of help or an emergency.
The New York Health Department issued a warning to its residents about how fentanyl is being increasingly mixed with other drugs and causing cocaine overdose deaths. It also issued a health advisory to nearly 40,000 medical professionals urging them to educate habitual cocaine patients about the risk of an overdose due to fentanyl. The department also shared that opioid overdose deaths can be prevented provided harm reduction strategies are put into place and followed by people.
Consequences of speedballing
Fentanyl and cocaine form a potentially lethal combination resulting in speedballing. While fentanyl is a central nervous system depressant, cocaine is a stimulant and the two together have contradictory impact on the body. This is why cocaine users often go to sleep after the initial rush. When one takes such a mix, it is common to experience confusion, blurred vison, drowsiness, and slowing down of heart rate. The cocktail is associated with an increased risk of death from stroke or heart attack, respiratory failure and aneurysm. It also leads to uncontrolled and uncoordinated motor skills thereby, increasing the risk of accidents in case the person happens to be behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, many of those who buy cocaine from vendors are unaware of the presence of the harmful adulterant fentanyl. Most buy the drug believing it to be pure cocaine but that is rarely the case, as apart from fentanyl, cocaine is cut with other ingredients. As the victim is unaware about the ingredients, risk to one’s life is substantial. Fentanyl is primarily used for providing palliative care to cancer patients but it is nearly 50 times deadlier than morphine and heroin.
Rehab for cocaine addiction
A leading addiction, mental health and co-occurring disorders treatment facility, Sovereign Health offers its patients world-class facilities to overcome their problems. In addition to traditional clinical treatment options, we offer evidence-based modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), neurofeedback, individual, group and family therapy as well as mindfulness training and life skills.
To learn more about various treatment programs imparted at our cocaine rehab centers in different parts of the country, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with an expert. Our cocaine addiction treatment in Texas facility promises to be a place of absolute peace and a life-changing experience.
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