I note that the use of illegal drugs has become more hazardous with the addition of elephant tranquilizer.
A substance used to tranquilize elephants that is 100 times more potent than the drug that killed Prince is presenting a new and difficult challenge in the nationwide opioid epidemic.
The exotic and toxic sedative named carfentanil has been linked in recent weeks to fatal overdoses in Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
. . .
The difficult-to-detect substance is so powerful that an amount equivalent to a few grains of salt can be deadly. It requires more aggressive treatment than a typical opiate overdose to reverse. First responders are getting burned out answering back-to-back overdose calls rising because of carfentanil and other synthetic opioids, and they worry about falling ill after exposure while answering calls.
The drug is so new that some medical examiners don't have the tools to detect it in autopsies.
"It shows how callous these drug dealers are," Synan said. "It has no human use whatsoever, and they're putting it out on the street and wreaking havoc."
. . .
All of the zookeepers and vets in the United States combined need only about 18 grams of carfentanil a year, about the weight of 18 artificial sweetener packets, Patterson said. "If they don't need very much of it to use on an annual basis to tranquilize big, large animals, then we humans don't stand up at all," Patterson said.
There's more at the link. Highly recommended reading if you're the parent of teens or other young people at risk.
The thing is, drug addiction can only be solved by the addicts themselves - or potential addicts. I was addicted to nicotine, in the form of cigarettes, for many years. I had to decide for myself to stop smoking. It offered sufficient pleasure that only something better could have persuaded me to quit. What did it for me was meeting my future wife. She made it clear that she wouldn't marry me if I continued smoking. I had to make a choice; cancer sticks, or her. I chose her, and I've been very happy with the results.
Those addicted to illicit narcotics have to come to the same place. They have to decide that something - life itself, or a partner, or a job, or whatever - is better, and more important to them, than their addiction. Persuasion, courses, propaganda . . . none of them will work without that elementary, life-changing decision on the part of the addict. I fear that with the advent of carfentanil, many of them won't have time to make it before the consequences of their addiction catch up with them . . . but it's their choice, no-one else's. Those knocking themselves out to save them from the consequences of their choice need to bear that in mind. Death is just as much a correction to the problem of addiction as is deciding to stop.