Cover preview: The deadly opiate that's taking over the streets - Macleans.ca
 

Cover preview: The deadly opiate that’s taking over the streets

Fentanyl is a powerful drug that’s killing Canadians—and it seems no one can stop it. A sneak peek at our latest cover story.


 

MAC25_coverThe “best high” is quickly becoming one of Canada’s biggest killers.

Fentanyl, an opiate that is 100 times more powerful than morphine and 20 times more potent than heroin, is taking over the streets. Readily available in both its prescription patch form, and as an illicitly made pill or powder, the painkiller has been linked to hundreds of overdoses. Last year, Alberta saw 120 deaths. In the first two months of 2015, there were 50 more. There were 80 fentanyl fatalities in British Columbia in 2014. And in Ontario, where the drug’s popularity soared after a 2012 government crackdown on OxyContin, it now kills twice as many people as smack.

This week, Maclean’s examines Canada’s national fentanyl problem and its tragic consequences—and the extraordinary challenge facing police and health workers as they battle a drug that’s both legal and illegal.

Read the full story in our latest issue, available Wednesday night for tablet and mobile readers on Next Issue, Apple Newsstand and Google Play, and on macleans.ca later this week.


 

Cover preview: The deadly opiate that’s taking over the streets

  1. Then stop drug prohibition…..people can make this stuff in their kitchen nowadays anyway. Or buy it online.

    Legalize, regulate, tax.

  2. Finally, this being brought to light… about time…
    so many kids have overdosed on this and many kids seek shelter from their underlying “pain” (as addiction is really just masked pain…).
    I met a couple of young adults who are addicted to this. Most notably was a young male 20 something who stole 5 tvs in order to pay for the habit. As a youth, he found his mom dead in the washroom when he was 5. rejected by his dad and forced to live with relatives afterwards, he felt abondoned. Turning to drugs to mask that underlying pain (rejection). Stealing to pay for it all. Trying to rebuild by going out west. But, only finding his addictions back to haunt his soul.
    Need more mental health care programs, education, and social systems.
    What we have now isn’t working. Jails don’t work for they don’t rehab, reintegrate, nor educate. Just tear people down further….
    Need better education, rehab, and groups to help people get off this crap and deal with their underlying baggage of pain.

    This drug is wicked in that the concentration is all in one area on the patch. Hence, many overdose.

    Make the drug manufacture re-engineer the patch so the concentration is spread out so the dose is lower over the patch area. Offer better education, rehab and reintegration along with long term care programs and counselling is key. Its a lifetime of pain.

    best not to hide this shame nor blame, but deal with the reality of our people problems.

  3. Finally, this being brought to light… about time…
    so many kids have overdosed on this and many kids seek shelter from their underlying “pain” (as addiction is really just masked pain…).
    I met a couple of young adults who are addicted to this. Most notably was a young male 20 something who stole 5 tvs in order to pay for the habit. As a youth, he found his mom dead in the washroom when he was 5. rejected by his dad and forced to live with relatives afterwards, he felt abondoned. Turning to drugs to mask that underlying pain (rejection). Stealing to pay for it all. Trying to rebuild by going out west. But, only finding his addictions back to haunt his soul.
    Need more mental health care programs, education, and social systems.
    What we have now isn’t working. Jails don’t work for they don’t rehab, reintegrate, nor educate. Just tear people down further….
    Need better education, rehab, and groups to help people get off this crap and deal with their underlying baggage of pain.

    This drug is wicked in that the concentration is all in one area on the patch. Hence, many overdose.

    Make the drug manufacture re-engineer the patch so the concentration is spread out so the dose is lower over the patch area. Offer better education, rehab and reintegration along with long term care programs and counselling is key. Its a lifetime of pain.

    best not to hide this shame nor blame, but deal with the reality of our people problems….

  4. “and it seems no one can stop it. …”
    Cue hysteria!