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The Real Problem With the Opioid Crisis: Fentanyl

Unless you've had major surgery or were a Michael Jackson death junkie I'd bet you'd never even heard about fentanyl. I found out about this drug when it was prescribed by my doctor after surgery.

Cut to today. The death by overdose number continues to explode because doctors stopped prescribing the more rational pain medication. I firmly believe that 999 out of every 1000 overdose deaths are due to fentanyl being subbed out for the pain medications oxycodone and oxycontin. Fentanyl is being cheaply manufactured in China and other foreign countries and making its way to this country through the usual routes, including Mexico.

So let's look at the other 'problem' drugs oxycodone and oxycontin.

I do not doubt that a number of people were once using these drugs to get high.

I do not doubt that people were once abusing these drugs and becoming addicted.

I do not doubt that these drugs were once being over-prescribed. These are all facts. There will always be a fraction of the population with the propensity to become addicted to the drug du jour. That type of drug abuse problem was not so much with the drug USERS, but with the drug PRESCRIBERS, over-prescribing, making some extra cash by selling prescriptions, and just being lazy 'here-take-this-pill-and-you'll-feel-fine' doctors. If they had prescribed those oxys in a more responsible, professional manner things would not have gotten so out of hand.

The outcome of all this mess has been one of excruciating pain for those that depended on legal, effective, and non-lethal when prescribed and used responsibly pain medication relief. These are the people left with no choices for controlling their pain. They depended on these drugs to be able to live a more normal life. To be able to get out of bed every day. To control the awful pain of cancer. These are the forgotten people that are the ones taking the risk of trying fentanyl. Some throw in the towel with suicide as their best option. This is real and it happens every day. Debilitating, constant pain for many is a real thing that can only be somewhat 'fixed' by using pain medication.

The fentanyl crisis is a manufactured crisis. Manufactured by the government stepping in to control the opioid crisis. The government has turned this into a death-by-fentanyl crisis that never had to happen. Responsible prescribing and dispensing of opioids would have been enough. Instead, they threw the baby out with the bath water by making oxycontin and oxycodone so ridiculously difficult to get prescribed that an entirely new crisis came to be.

Just try to get a prescription for whatever pain you might be going through. Pray you never break any bones and need a short prescription to get you through a few days of serious pain. Good luck leaving the hospital after surgery. They will send you home with a prescription for Tylemol. You won't get that prescription, not any more. That is the real crisis.

by Anonymousreply 64February 3, 2023 6:38 AM

It’s such a dangerous drug. In hospitals, they dilute it with other substances because it’s so potent. A very small amount of it can kill you.

I feel like OxyContin was the beginning of the end. My generation (millennials) grew up with the mindset that crack and heroin were trash drugs that homeless and mentally ill people did.

Well OxyContin came along and it was expensive as fuck and young people who were doing Oxy turned to heroin which was cheaper and I think took the stigma off heroin for younger generations.

Now there’s heroin addicts everywhere. And now there’s fentanyl.

by Anonymousreply 1January 26, 2023 10:19 PM

So many people overdosed on OxyContin. I thought to myself well cocaine and heroin used to be legal drugs. Why don’t they make OxyContin illegal?

Then I watched this video on YouTube that explained opium = Chinese in the 1800s, cocaine = black people in the 1920s, marijuana = Mexican migration in the 1930s. Then cocaine had a lesser charge than crack in the 70’s because whites did coke and blacks did crack.

And what we saw with OxyContin was because it was such a pandemic amongst white people, they loosened up the “crack” mentality and started putting people in hospitals instead of prison. But they still refused to ban it.

The same with fentanyl. It’s a bad drug. Get rid of it.

by Anonymousreply 2January 26, 2023 10:19 PM

OP, why do you think anyone gives a shit about what you think? Nobody asked.

by Anonymousreply 3January 26, 2023 10:22 PM

OP is a republicunt

by Anonymousreply 4January 26, 2023 10:22 PM

Fentanyl really shouldn't be used outside of the clinical setting or in palliative care. It really should be phased out. That being said, the US overreliance on opiates for pain relief since the 90s is well documented and yes, doctors needed to stop handing them out like candy for any minor ache and pain, which they have.

by Anonymousreply 5January 26, 2023 10:25 PM

You're right op but we Americans love our narcotics. I do think legalization of all natural drugs derived from a plant, coke, heroin, opium and marijuana is the solution. Synthetic drugs should remain banned.

by Anonymousreply 6January 26, 2023 10:26 PM

This isn’t the video I watched but it’s another one that explains my R2 post.

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by Anonymousreply 7January 26, 2023 10:30 PM

The "problem" with Fentanyl, is that addicted Oxy users, ( many who were hooked by unscrupulous pain docs handing-out RX's like Pez just a few years ago), now seek their drug of choice on the street.

Only NOW they discover (at first snort) - that it's been laced with the much more powerful aforementioned Fentanyl- straight from China, at a dose that would knock out an Elephant, forget a human being. For most, it's a lesson they learn for the first and last time- as they immediately succumb to OD'ing and Death.

by Anonymousreply 8January 26, 2023 10:38 PM

[quote]Unless you've had major surgery or were a Michael Jackson death junkie I'd bet you'd never even heard about fentanyl.

You'd have to have been living under a rock to not have heard about fentanyl and its devastating effects on society OP.

by Anonymousreply 9January 26, 2023 10:41 PM

It is almost impossible to get pain medicine from a dr. Even pain management Doctors don't want to prescribe pain medicine. I actually have back and neck injuries and can't get anything. The doctors have no problem writing doctors excuses, but won't write for pain medicine. Before you think I'm just looking for drugs, I've missed over 320 days of work in the past 3 years. That's insane.

by Anonymousreply 10January 26, 2023 10:42 PM

Cannabis and psychedelics should never have been illegal. And other drugs like cocaine and heroin probably could be consumed in legal ways if they are dosed properly. In South America, there exist coca tea which is a popular drink. Natives used peyote for religious purposes. There's no evidence that softer drugs like marijuana lead to hard drugs. Alcohol is a hard drug that's legal and has killed more people than any illegal drug. Now it's painkillers prescribed by doctors like Oxycontin.

by Anonymousreply 11January 26, 2023 10:43 PM

I was so surprised to read Anne Heche was dosed with fentanyl after her car accident. The dataloungers who are knowledgeable about this explained it is used in these circumstances to sedate severely injured patients and for pain relief. I thought fenatyl was a street drug!

by Anonymousreply 12January 26, 2023 10:44 PM

well you're a moron, R12

by Anonymousreply 13January 26, 2023 11:02 PM

President Biden is being kept busy holding the seams together of American democracy and it is a waste of an opportunity to deal with drugs, he knows from personal experience just how problematic drugs can be. Legalize all natural growing narcotics.

by Anonymousreply 14January 26, 2023 11:10 PM

Crushed fentanyl is the special ingredient in my world-famous chocolate mousse!

by Anonymousreply 15January 27, 2023 12:39 AM

R11, You're part of the problem. You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

by Anonymousreply 16January 27, 2023 1:18 AM

r16 = Nancy Reagan

by Anonymousreply 17January 27, 2023 2:15 AM

R16 Pray tell

by Anonymousreply 18January 27, 2023 1:27 PM

I live in Southern West Virginia is and the opioid crises here is awful. Somebody has been putting counterfeit money with fentanyl on them and leaving them on the counters and shelves of gas stations and local stores. People picked them up thinking they were real. They were always $100.00 bills. Several people have been hospitalized and one person died, just from picking them up. Scary to think that just picking up anything can kill you of make you OD, and you have no idea of what will happen. Horrible peop!e and horrible drug.

by Anonymousreply 19January 27, 2023 2:26 PM

R19 that's a myth though. It doesn't work that way. The only people being hospitalized are people that had a panic attack after thinking they were dosed with fentanyl. It can't go through skin like that.

"Can fentanyl be absorbed through the skin or by touching an item or surface where it is present? It is a common misconception that fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin, but it is not true for casual exposure. You can't overdose on fentanyl by touching a doorknob or dollar bill. The one case in which fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin is with a special doctor-prescribed fentanyl skin patch, and even then, it takes hours of exposure."

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by Anonymousreply 20January 27, 2023 2:32 PM

It's nice of you to say these were people who had panic attacks or psychosomatic reactions to trace amounts of fentanyl on the skin, but my guess is some of them were having reactions to drugs they did genuinely take, which they decided to use the fentanyl as a cover for.

by Anonymousreply 21January 27, 2023 2:38 PM

R5 doctors haven't been "handing it out like candy" for everything in at least 5 years, if not more. Pain pill scripts peaked back in 2014- 2015. After all the new regulations, scripts were cut down by 70% in most cases, with cancer doctors alone reducing their scripts by 40%.

It's almost impossible now to get away with -- there's computer checks (no double scripts), no early refills (must call monthly for scripts too), drug testing every couple months, pull counts, etc., All ontop of doctors not wanting to give it out at all. My partner broke 4 ribs and had to BEG for anything other than Tylenol and was still given 5 mg only.

The media is being dishonest by still calling this shit an "opiate epidemic", as if it's all opioids, when a majority are dying from fentanyl -- not just that, but even when they aren't seeking opioids, but other drugs. Even when they are, it's hard to believe these are all ex patients, when those dying are young. They weren't getting pills back then. Like for example, a recent death was a 17 yr old that bought a fake oxy pill, that was laced with fentanyl. That 17 yr old wasn't part of the age groups that grew up when you could get scripts easier.

by Anonymousreply 22January 27, 2023 2:41 PM

R21 could be them covering their ass. I do know there's been a few cases where they had nothing in them, like that cop that touched powder found in car and a woman who has a police officer as a husband. Totally agree though that I'm sure there's been some that don't want to admit they took something so they say they touched a strange dollar bill.

by Anonymousreply 23January 27, 2023 2:43 PM

R22 I'm pretty passionate about this since I rely on pain meds to function. If they took away my scripts, I'd absolutely kill myself. Even with following the rules, they keep me on very low doses, with a decade of good history with not abusing them. This shit with addicts is pissing me off at this point. Even the CDC admits doctors became too freaked out and are being cruel. These meds do have a place. They haven't found a substitute that works. OTC drugs can be very harmful, now with studies showing a possible link to cancer and other chronic illnesses. You can't take them everyday like that either. Other experimental meds, like tramadol, gabapentin, etc., come with numerous issues too (they work like SSRIs, fucking with brain chemistry) and don't have a good track record with treating pain either. Therapy can work BUT as a preventative to chronic pain. We'd need to overhaul the healthcare system to make sure people recieved care right away.

I do think there might be some overdoses that were people that got cut and went out looking. That's why I don't like this trend of blaming the meds as being bad no matter what. Sometimes it's all a person has that works.

I do have a fucked up theory about fentanyl, but it'll make me seem crazy. I'll share it though.

by Anonymousreply 24January 27, 2023 2:53 PM

Share your fucked-up theory about fentanyl, r24! I have one of my own, I wonder if they're the same.

by Anonymousreply 25January 27, 2023 3:00 PM

Ooo okay R25!

I started becoming suspicious of what's going after reading about how the cartel was supposedly making counterfeit pills look like candy (they were colorful). Of course the media and authorities immediately said it must be to lure in children. I was already suspicious about why drug dealers/ cartel would use such a strong drug, but at first shrugged it off as them looking for a way to get people a cheap high.

Then came an article about something stronger than fentanyl. Where narcan won't even work. Even back at the peak of my peers taking opioids, never once have I heard them say "I wish there was something stronger than fentanyl" -- fentanyl is strong. You don't need to create something stronger unless you want them dead. Next came an article about how the cartel was now making it gray. Why? They just made them colorful, remember?

My fucked up theory is that it isn't coming from cartels, at least not like they say. The colors were to stop the small guys from using it to lace drugs without buyers noticing. Even local dealers wouldn't want to kill all their buyers. I could see it happening on a small scale, due to accidents adding it, but not like it's happening all over. What if it's something fucked up to get rid of addicts? Why is it showing up in all the drugs too? Someone buying coke for the weekend wouldn't want that shit. What if it's someone up higher ....

I have noticed no arrests with drugs have produced drug paraphernalia like pill molding kits. Just various drugs, with a small baggie of fentanyl thrown in. I know how it sounds but I can't help but wonder if the tampering is coming from somewhere higher up.

by Anonymousreply 26January 27, 2023 3:04 PM

[quote]What if it's something fucked up to get rid of addicts? Why is it showing up in all the drugs too? Someone buying coke for the weekend wouldn't want that shit. What if it's someone up higher ....

We DO have the same theory! I think it's entirely plausible, considering the CIA involvement in drug trafficking in the 1980s, which was proven, plus the strong evidence of their involvement in domestic drug production beginning in the 1950s.

There was an article a few years ago where someone who works with inner city drug addicts said they thought competing drug cartels were putting fentanyl in their enemies' supply to kill their customers, and I thought that seemed like a reasonable excuse, but fentanyl contamination seems to be getting worse and that theory no longer makes sense.

The weird propaganda-like stories of how it can make you have seizures if you just barely touch it with your finger also give me reason to believe there's something else going on here.

by Anonymousreply 27January 27, 2023 3:17 PM

R26, just before the pandemic a young NC State grad was arrested for running a counterfeit pill manufacturing operation out of a storage unit. Millions of dollars worth of pills, so it is indeed being done and not just by cartels but by disaffected chemistry graduates in their early twenties.

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by Anonymousreply 28January 27, 2023 3:21 PM

R26 You are right to be suspicious. It appears we as Americans are invited to be addicted to anything and everything while being shamed for being so.

by Anonymousreply 29January 27, 2023 3:23 PM

I used to enjoy the occasional line of coke or a coke-fueled sex romp from time to time. But who is crazy enough to snort coke these days? If I ever saw some coke on a guy’s nightstand, I’d be out the door in a flash. Each contact is potentially fatal.

by Anonymousreply 30January 27, 2023 3:27 PM

R26, I agree with everything you said.

I had a pretty scary and recent but mercifully short addiction to cocaine over the past few years. I'm clean now, obviously because of the possibility of it being laced. But mine was never laced, I even had fentanyl testing strips. Also I NEVER got my coke except from absolutely one "trusted" dealer. Trusted in quotes because a dealer is not your friend, but I could never figure out why a dealer would want to kill their customers.

You're nuts to buy coke on the street, even before fentanyl. But most of these OD's are people who bought it from an unknown person. As an addict, I closely followed news about drugs and fatalties.

When they started discovering the candy-looking fentanyl I knew right then and there this ain't coming from a cartel south of the Rio Grande.

Convenient solution to addicts, right? Poison them all.

I mean liquor and cigarettes are still legal and they kill more than anyone.

And let's face it, "undesirables" survive on drugs, cigarettes and booze. They know what they're doing.

by Anonymousreply 31January 28, 2023 6:10 AM

Then why aren't they dying faster?

by Anonymousreply 32January 28, 2023 7:50 AM

Dying after a few sand sized grains of fentanyl in 3 minutes isn't fast enough for you, r32?


by Anonymousreply 33January 28, 2023 7:54 AM

Thousands of addicts living on the streets of every big city. Not dead, and it's been more than 3 minutes.

by Anonymousreply 34January 28, 2023 8:10 AM

"Your theory is wrong because not every drug addict in the world is dead" is a pretty weak argument.

by Anonymousreply 35January 28, 2023 8:58 AM

[quote]the US overreliance on opiates for pain relief since the 90s is well documented and yes, doctors needed to stop handing them out like candy for any minor ache and pain, which they have.

Is the US worse than other populations, though r5? Why is codeine available at the druggists' in places like Europe and Mexico, and not here?

by Anonymousreply 36January 28, 2023 9:16 AM

Whatever happened prescribing to Tylenol 3. Yeah it can be abused to get high too but it's not in the same realm as the "oxy" family. Does tyenol codeine not work for back pain? I've been prescribed it a handful of times, mostly after dental procedures. And it can give you a euphoric little high which is great.

by Anonymousreply 37January 28, 2023 9:18 AM

I love Fentanyl. Thins the herd.

by Anonymousreply 38January 28, 2023 9:33 AM

I believe fentanyl is being used as a form of weaponry by our enemies, the Chinese. The Chinese have had centuries of experience with addiction in a populace because of their opium trade. The Russians have used our original sin against us - racism - to divide us more firmly apart and funneled money into the NRA, which has produced a result where our kids are being slaughtered by guns. The Chinese are exploiting the weaknesses in our mental health and social connections and killing our kids. I would suggest that our enemies are far more incentivized to do this than the CIA.

by Anonymousreply 39January 28, 2023 12:31 PM

It is weird how whenever a discussion starts to become constructive or contain nuance or promote though somebody comes in with trump like hyperbole or racist accusations. Not to mention person attacks on intelligence. It really makes this platform an others hard to use for those that want a rational discussion.

by Anonymousreply 40January 28, 2023 2:48 PM

Dr's DO NOT hand out pain pills like candy, the patient must prove his pain these days. This is GOVERNMENT OVERREACH into our lives. Just wait till you get hurt and there isnt anything medically dr's can do to fix the problem. Good luck.

by Anonymousreply 41January 28, 2023 3:02 PM

R41 is correct. The problem is misidentifying patients who once they are administered an opiate such as fentanyl, they can be identified for having the type of metabolism that predisposes them to pathological increases in dosages.

Many patients vomit from opiates. Tolerance does not matter with these patients, they will still vomit from the opiates. In my case, I was given a fentanyl lollipop of all things. That’s the only way that I could titrate the dose to be low enough after surgery, because all of the other opiates made me vomit so much that my stitches in my abdomen would’ve unleashed themselves. I tasted the fentanyl lollipop, then the pain relief came, and then about 15 minutes later, the vomiting returned.

Not everybody can take opiates. Conversely, the people that metabolize them well have an inborn error of metabolism in my opinion, and should not be treated with hatred and legal punitiveness. It is a medical situation, not a legal one.

by Anonymousreply 42January 28, 2023 3:16 PM

Well R20, it did happen and it was directly linked to people picking up fake bills that all tested positive for fentanyl. Maybe after people picked up the bills, they touched their eyes or mouths, but the Logan co West Virginia police dept warned people about it.

by Anonymousreply 43January 28, 2023 3:55 PM

I always felt some of these drugs were placed in marginalized communities (how would people with limited education and resourced figure out how to make complex synthetic drugs?) and the government's slow reaction even further supports that conspiracy theory. The ultra-rich are doing a genocide of the white working class (which I also consider the middle class part of this despite what they say). They did on poor inner-city blacks and Hispanics in the 1980s as a reaction to the Great Migration. I think now given the damage of climate change, the ultra-rich are trying to kill off a lot of the lower class in order to gain access to resources. The opioid crisis is affecting a lot of people in rural areas, many of whom actually own land.

by Anonymousreply 44January 28, 2023 4:16 PM

If 'those that be' ... you know, the bastards with the money, resources, and capability of hoodwinking an already ignorant population can rid, at the very least the USA of homeless and druggies, then I too can see this as an evil plot. The only part missing is turning their remaining carcasses into soylent green to feed the poor that would already be hanging by a thread.

by Anonymousreply 45January 28, 2023 11:35 PM

I had a bad accident last year that resulted in multiple fractures in both arms and radial head replacements in both elbows. 3 different surgeries to repair the damage over a 15 month period. I was prescribed OxyContin after each surgery but honestly found I got just as much pain relief from using a combo of Panadeine and Ibuprofen.

by Anonymousreply 46January 29, 2023 12:15 AM

Panadeine is an opioid.

by Anonymousreply 47January 29, 2023 1:46 AM

[quote]"Your theory is wrong because not every drug addict in the world is dead" is a pretty weak argument.[/quote] Yet it's factually correct. I'm out of tinfoil and can't mimic your hat. It's the CIA, no-- the Chinese! Don't touch it! It'll kill you on contact!

by Anonymousreply 48January 29, 2023 5:26 AM

I don’t think anyone is referencing panadeine when they are talking about opioid crisis, addiction, or overdose. R47

by Anonymousreply 49January 29, 2023 5:54 AM

Get your kid hooked on baby aspirin as early as possible; they'll be easy to control as they grow older. Whenever they misbehave, you can send them to bed without their Oxys.

by Anonymousreply 50January 29, 2023 3:43 PM

R49 The 'Panadeine is an opioid' comment was in reference to this comment by R46: "I was prescribed OxyContin after each surgery but honestly found I got just as much pain relief from using a combo of Panadeine and Ibuprofen." The reason R46 got as much relief was due to taking another opioid. It made little sense since they were simply swapping out one opioid for another.

Any time someone is in very serious pain and is prescribed ANY opioid they are lucky as all getout to get ANYthing. Oxycodone is rarely prescribed these days. It has become nearly impossible to get. The point here is this ... The Oxy opioid crisis doesn't exist. The FENTANYL crisis, however, DOES exist, because Oxy is almost impossible to get now.

by Anonymousreply 51January 30, 2023 5:26 AM


by Anonymousreply 52January 30, 2023 5:27 AM

Studies have shown codeine is not very effective at treating pain.

Hand out free cannabis immediately to pain patients and I guarantee the opioid crisis would be over in a snap.

by Anonymousreply 53January 30, 2023 5:44 AM

I was given Fentanyl and Versed for a kidney biopsy. They were repeatedly stabbing me with a long needle, penetrating through my back and into my kidney to retrieve tissue, and I felt no pain during or after. All I did feel was a pleasant sense of calm.

I know why people love drugs.

by Anonymousreply 54January 30, 2023 5:49 AM

R51 Panadeine is over the counter pain medication. OxyContin is prescribed. My point was that I got more pain relief from basic, over the counter pain pills that super addictive OxyContin.

by Anonymousreply 55January 30, 2023 6:14 AM

I was in ICU after surgery for two days, then in my own room for five days. Immediately after surgery I was given a fentanyl pump for 24 hours only - hospital rules. I pushed the button many, many times. I can't remember what they gave me after the fentanyl, whatever it was it took care of the pain, but the fentanyl was heaven.

by Anonymousreply 56January 30, 2023 8:48 AM

Casual and recreational users of any drug need to be really careful - there is fentanyl contamination in the supply of other drugs and/or fentanyl is being mixed in by dealers. Likewise, it is taking more naloxone to reverse an OD, IF it is even able to do so. Fentanyl is just that powerful!

Be careful kids! Get help if you need it!

by Anonymousreply 57January 30, 2023 11:18 AM

We all get that people shouldn't be using these drugs recreationally. If people want to get high they will find something ... really anything to solve that need, opioids or not. These are chronic users of drugs ... ANY drugs they can get their hands on. It's no longer easy to get their hands on oxy, but it IS easy to get their hands on fentanyl. But this is fentanyl masquerading as oxy and other drugs and it's sending people to the ER and the morgue.

Due to current regulations, the people that once legally relied on these prescribed drugs for pain have been cut off. For some, there is nothing else that can help them other than opioids. There is one other solution to getting relief from constant, brutal, neverending pain. It's called suicide, and too many have chosen that path.

This is a purely manufactured epidemic. It's akin to the old war on marijuana. The gov went crazy doing shit like spraying fields with paraquat, doing helicopter raids, and putting people in jail, making it hell to find weed. People turned to shitty alternatives like crack cocaine to get a cheap high. Look how that turned out. Brilliant, eh? It's called throwing the baby out with the bath water. Going WAY overboard.

This embargo is not ending well. I hope things loosen up, and soon. The people that want a cheap high will always be there. We all know that. The people that are old and in constant pain, or are young, with things like bone cancer, can't get the pain relief they need. It's a tragedy and it's wrong. When the government goes overboard on things like this all they really do is create more problems and a lot of misery.

by Anonymousreply 58January 30, 2023 8:31 PM

^^^^^ Brilliant summary !

by Anonymousreply 59January 31, 2023 1:42 AM

If we decriminalized drugs and had purity standards for things like coke and meth, none of this would be happening.

by Anonymousreply 60January 31, 2023 1:45 AM

[quote]Panadeine is over the counter pain medication.

In what country?

by Anonymousreply 61January 31, 2023 1:56 AM

Border checkpoints left unmanned giving drug smugglers and migrants an open pass into the US

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by Anonymousreply 62January 31, 2023 3:14 AM

Thanks, R59, the truth about what is really happening due to this manufactured "Opioid Crisis" must finally come out for everyone to know and understand. People that have relied on these drugs for pain are needlessly suffering and dying. This is cruel beyond belief for those that have nowhere else to turn and no other solution to their pain than suicide. It's ugly, it's wrong and it must end.

by Anonymousreply 63February 1, 2023 8:29 PM

[quote]For my first story @ latimes, I went to Mexico and got drugs.

[quote]Specifically, @ ConnorASheets and I went to pharmacies, got pills & tested them.

[quote]Turns out, some are selling oxy & Adderall over the counter – but the pills are actually fentanyl & meth.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 64February 3, 2023 6:38 AM
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