Round 3 — Finalist
Losing Secrets: A Fentanyl Trailer (2016)
Fentanyl is a highly toxic and addictive opioid, a class of painkillers that also includes oxycodone and morphine. It is up to 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.
HOW IS IT BEING USED?
Prescription fentanyl comes in the form of tablets, nasal spray and lozenges but the most popular form is in patches which slowly releases the drug into the body over 3 days. The patches can be easily abused by scraping out the gel and eating or smoking the contents all at once to get high. Illicit fentanyl is often found cut into other other drugs such as heroin or oxy tablets that are can be snorted or injected. A few hundred micrograms is equivalent to the weight of a single grain of salt. This is the amount used in other street drugs to boost the high. The major problem with this is that the line between being high & overdosing is very thin. If a user takes a pill that has 2 “grains of salt” they could overdose. It has become a major issue in Canada and the US.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? HOW IS IT SOLD? WHY IS IT SO PROBLEMATIC?
Illicit fentanyl primarily ships out of China. They’re able to ship it internationally because suppliers often ship drugs in packages under the 30-gram threshold, ensuring border agents won’t open them. It’s often shipped in silica packages in packages of urine strips. It can also be hidden by gift wrapping the package or labeling it as household detergent. Once it arrives, it gets diluted with powdered sugar, baby powder or antihistamines before it’s sold on the street. It is also mixed into other drugs, and sold as heroin or OxyContin, which is where the danger comes in. When these drugs are sold on the street, there’s no way of knowing how many “grains of salt” are in those pills or powders. Street names include China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Jackpot & TNT. Fentanyl is cheap to make and easy to traffic. A kilogram of powdered fentanyl can cost as little as $3,300 US to produce yet a dealer can press about $1 million US worth of pills at street value. Traffickers are a combination of organized crime groups and individuals ordering off the internet.
Inform young people of the dangers of Fentanyl, to decrease the amount of overdoses. If they’re knowledgeable on the subject of fentanyl, they’ll be less likely to use it and more likely to spread awareness of its dangers. Choose an approach that will have the greatest chance at earning attention and media.