Binghamton, New York, has proven to be another stop on the newest Fentanyl pipeline that supports the ever increasing opioid epidemic in the United States. A massive drug bust of Fentanyl, Heroin, and Meth occurred on November 30th, 2018 in Binghamton, NY. The amount seized has been said to have the potential to kill 500,000 people. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to cut heroin in order to increase the strength, thus sales, and also lower the cost of producing higher quality heroin.
Developed first in 1960 as a powerful painkiller and surgery anesthetic, the potency of Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine and up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. It is strictly reserved for treating serious medical conditions that cause extreme pain. Fentanyl became a popular ‘cut’ for heroin in 2005 and 2006, during the infant years of the opioid crisis. Now, it has completely invaded the illegal drug market. Fentanyl is responsible for the rising numbers of people overdosing on heroin.
Binghamton Fentanyl Bust
According to the New York Times, a horrifying record amount of overdoses occurred that were related to heroin laced or cut with Fentanyl. The record number was 72,000. The reason for why Fentanyl is so popular among drug dealers is that Fentanyl can be manufactured in a laboratory, and it is often easier to transport because it is more concentrated. The drug bust in Binghamton was monumental but speaks about the level of danger the drug addict community is in.
The Chief of Police for Johnson City, part of the Binghamton Metropolitan Statistical Area said about the bust, “We see by the seizures that we take off the street, we’re not going to arrest our way out of this,” (NYUP). Although in 2016 Mayor Richard C. David of Binghamton, NY expanded the City and Fairview Addiction Recovery Services of the new Intensive Care Navigator, which provides needed care for individuals battling heroin addiction, Binghamton is still part of the Fentanyl pipeline.
Why is there so much fentanyl?
The pipeline begins in China, where it is manufactured. It then flows into the U.S. through Mexican cartel and heads north on well-established drug trafficking routes. In June of 2018, in New York’s Upper West Side, it was discovered that an accused Sinaloa drug kingpin had been stashing Fentanyl to be combined with heroin and to be sold on the streets of New York. Some can speculate if the Binghamton bust is related.
The opioid crisis received a heightened level of press the year that Trump was inaugurated, but in recent political conversations, it has taken a back seat to other issues. The concern is that because there is still a stigma attached to heroin addiction and drug addiction overall, quick enough action is not being taken as it was before. That means the Fentanyl mixtures will continue to take lives.
Currently, Fentanyl is primarily found on the East Coast because the type of heroin sold on the East comes in a powder form.
The West coast sees less of powder heroin and more of black tar heroin. The next wave of huge numbers of heroin overdoses will occur when drug distributors find ways to mix Fentanyl with black tar heroin, causing even more deaths, East to West.
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Long Island Interventions provides an opportunity for those struggling with substance abuse to recover safely. We believe in Long Island drug treatment programs that are solution-focused and evidence-based and our recovery advocates have decades of combined experience.