Yesterday, we talked about the dangers of unregulated, illegally produced alcohol. That’s not the only dangerous substance out there. Did you know that illegal substances might be even more dangerous than you think?

For example, fentanyl is a drug that seems to be popping up in a lot of places it shouldn’t be. Fentanyl is a painkilling drug intended to treat severe pain. Internet pages about fentanyl list several warnings about using the drug.

Why? Exposing yourself to fentanyl can be dangerous for short-term and long-term reasons. In the short term, just touching a small amount of it can cause overdoses. Emergency responders have experienced overdoses while they were trying to help other people who had overdosed on the drug.

In a long-term sense, fentanyl and other opiate/opioid drugs can be extremely addictive. People take fentanyl to experience highs, but when the highs wear off, they take more. The problem is, they become accustomed to fentanyl, so they need more and more in order to experience such highs.

Of course, people aren’t just taking the drugs they think they’re taking. More than a third of the people who died from drug overdoses in New York City in 2016 tested positive for cocaine and fentanyl.

While fentanyl is not illegal if doctors prescribe it for their intended patients, some users steal it or buy it off the streets, practices that are definitely not legal. Mixing fentanyl with cocaine (an illegal substance) is definitely illegal. Such illegal substances and practices can be very dangerous, because there’s no oversight to prevent things from going wrong and little recourse if they do.

Laws, lawmakers, law enforcement professionals, and doctors aren’t perfect and definitely make mistakes. But most work to ensure the safety of people who place their trust in them. This includes safety from deadly substances and practices.

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