|When it first appeared in the region's drug supply, narcotics agents said fentanyl was slipped into heroin, coaxing heroin users into an overdose danger they hadn't experienced before. That still happens but now, more people who once sought heroin are asking dealers explicitly for fentanyl. This is because people who use opioids build a tolerance and eventually need the drug just to quell withdrawal symptoms.|
These people use just to be 'normal'. Death doesn't scare them. Withdrawal does. From the sellers' point of view, fentanyl is perfect. It's easy to manufacture. Easy to get. And highly profitable.
|There is no cultivation of land for poppy plants, no growing period or complicated manufacturing process. No difficult transportation issues. A DEA fact sheet notes: "Traffickers can typically purchase a kilogram of fentanyl powder for a few thousand dollars from a Chinese supplier," prepare small doses "and sell it for millions of dollars in profit." Naturally the opiate has been increasingly dropped into stimulant drugs. Authorities first noted cocaine-fentanyl related cases in Hamilton County a year ago.|
Fentanyl has also been disguised as typical prescription painkillers, including Percocet.
|Ten suspected drug traffickers selling fentanyl in Cincinnati were picked up in raids last week. As soon as one ring is busted another rises to replace it.|