DEA Warns of Fake Fentanyl Pain Pills – Pain News Network | April 02, 2016 | By Pat Anson, Editor
I found the last sentence of this article shocking:
The CDC admits many [illicit] fentanyl overdoses may have been misclassified as deaths caused by prescription painkillers.
It’s hard to believe that the CDC issued such drastically restricting guidelines, making lives miserable for hundreds of thousands of pain patients, despite admittedly knowing their data was corrupt.
Pain patients, callously condemned to a lifetime of pain, and doctors hounded by the DEA, are being blamed for deaths caused by illegally manufactured fentanyl (and heroin), *not* prescription medication for our pain.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and can be lethal in very small doses.
Fentanyl is available by prescription to treat more severe types of chronic pain, but illicitly manufactured fentanyl is fast becoming a scourge across the U.S. and is blamed for thousands of fatal overdoses.
One of the overdose victims in California was David Alfaro, a 53-year old man who suffered chronic pain from a leg injury, according to a report by KCRA-TV.
He bought what he thought was Norco, and it ended up being fentanyl — and it killed him,” said Marinda Conway, Alfaro’s common law wife. “He wasn’t a heroin addict that was looking to substitute his addiction by buying street pills. He wasn’t an opioid addict by any means.”
Conway said a single fake Norco pill was enough to kill Alfaro, although autopsy results are pending.
“This has been my fear with the new CDC guidelines that more people with pain will have less access to prescription medications; therefore taking matters into their own hands, self-medicating with medications bought on the street,” said Paul Gileno, president of U.S. Pain Foundation
“The CDC never thought about the unintended consequences from limiting access to legitimate patients needing care whose clinicians now feel unable to prescribe or treat appropriately. My worst nightmare is the possible repercussions looming in the future due to these hindering guidelines,” Gileno said.
The DEA says illicit fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico and China before being smuggled into the U.S.
Because of the nature of the drug, it’s impossible to tell if fentanyl was prescribed legally and used for medical reasons or manufactured illegally and used recreationally.
Especially since the CDC guidelines were crafted by addiction “specialists”, they deliberately chose to interpret the data in a manner that makes legitimate opioid use seem much more deadly than they are.
Now that the damage is done, the CDC is not shy or sorry about admitting it used this “accidentally misclassified data.
The CDC admits many fentanyl overdoses may have been misclassified as deaths caused by prescription painkillers.
Here’s another story about the fentanyl-laced Norco pills:
A Brush with Death and Fake Pain Pills — Pain News Network – April 06, 2016 | By Pat Anson, Editor
The pills are disguised as Norco – the brand name of a common hydrocodone medication – but they are actually made with illicit fentanyl, a dangerous and sometimes deadly drug that is 50 times more potent than morphine.
“I’ve had one of these so called super Norcos,” says David. “It had the markings of a regular prescription, M367. I only took a half just in case because of the news from the day and luckily I did. It was unlike any high I’ve had. It made me dizzy. I couldn’t see straight or sleep.”
It’s not just street addicts who are being victimized by the fentanyl scam. Many are pain patients like David who turned to the black market for relief when they could no longer get opioid prescriptions legally.
“Ever since middle school and high school I recall the widespread use of opiates and heroin. But now there is such a high demand for the pills because of the increased regulations on them and not being able to scam an early refill.
It has caused the price to spike on the streets and as soon as the word gets out someone has them they are immediately sold for ridiculous prices.
It’s not all addicts and not all pain patients. The doctors around here are cutting people down on the amount they are prescribed, causing them to have nowhere else to turn but the neighborhood dealer.”
“I got the Norco from a friend who is usually prescribed oxycodone but had run out and he too was forced to go out and find something to get him through till his refill was due.”
David bought 16 Norco pills for $5 each, not knowing he was actually getting fentanyl.
“Adding fentanyl of course to the Norco makes it much more powerful and deadly at the same time,” says John Burke, a former drug investigator for the Cincinnati Police Department who is now president of the International Health Facility Diversion Association.
Burke says the counterfeit Norco most likely came from Mexico, where drug cartels manufacture fentanyl before smuggling it into the United States.
Usually the fentanyl is mixed with heroin or cocaine to boost their potency.
By disguising fentanyl as a legitimate pain medication, the dealers are tapping into a large and growing black market for opioids sought by addicts and pain patients.