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Fentanyl Is The New Heroin: Opioid-Based Painkillers Just Became Deadlier

Update Date: May 12, 2016 10:42 AM EDT

For folks dealing with cancer, a high level of drug is needed to help them overcome the pains that are brought about by the disease. In extreme cases, Fentanyl would be prescribed by doctors though it does come with high risks that could go as far as death.

People who have not come across Fentanyl, the drug has been around as early as the 1960s. It is considered one of the better drugs that can help alleviate extreme pain in cancer patients and usually prescribed in patches or lozenges.

The problem now is that the said drug is being made illicitly and something that can be bought right in the streets. With that in mind, people who are hooked to drugs are now finding a new way to get high with big risks tied to it.

The scary part is that anyone may potentially fall from it and at any age. Proof of that is the story of Natasha Butler who lost her son (Jerome Butler) to the deadly drug. This was despite knowing that Jerome was never a drug user.

"He came and told me it was an overdose. I'm like, 'An overdose of what?' It wasn't an overdose. This is murder," Butler said. "I taught my kids two things: God, and don't do drugs."

Jerome had apparently gotten hold of the drug despite the absence of a proper prescription. According to Natasha, Jerome was given a painkiller that he initially thought was Norco – a less potent opioid-based painkiller that is includes hydrocodone and acetaminophen.

Apparently the pill given to Jerome had fentanyl in it and singled out as the reason behind the overdose. With his inevitable death due to drug overdose, Jerome became the 12th person to die from a fentanly-laced pill over at Sacramento County in California in March alone. Prior to that, more than 50 people reportedly suffered from overdose on those pills but survived.

With those alarming and growing number of people getting hold of the said drug, authorities are now out trying to trace the source. But the thing is that the case is not limited to Sacramento County alone. A lot of fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths are cropping up in the United States, a disturbing fact.

Natasha Butler has taken the initiative of warning community about the drug by talking to communities and has made a call to the political figures that go as far as the White House in an effort to help and prevent other people from suffering the same fate.

"I'm mad at the person who sold it. I'm mad at the person who is compressing it. I'm mad at the state for not protecting our people," she said.

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