Large Increase in Opioid Deaths Seen in Middle-Aged Black Adults
A new government report finds a large increase in opioid-related deaths among black middle-aged adults.
Dealers of synthetic drugs have no trouble ordering their products online, the Miami Herald reports. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and simple money transfers to receive the drugs from China.
Online ordering is replacing the need for traditional smuggling tools, the article notes. Instead, dealers use the U.S. Postal Service or well-known parcel shipping companies.
“There is no typical drug dealer anymore,” South Florida’s U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer told the newspaper. “It’s easy to get access to this stuff. It’s less dangerous and less risky. These new drug dealers are using the Internet, and all they need is a runner to go intercept the package from overseas.”
Chemists in China are constantly changing formulas for synthetic drugs such as bath salts, flakka, Molly or Spice, to stay one step ahead of U.S. drug laws. Lab tests reveal these drugs can contain unknown substances that can be deadly.
“They’re way ahead of us,” Kevin Stanfill, Assistant Special Agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Miami Field Division, said of the Chinese synthetic drug distributors. “They watch the news; they see the reports. It’s ever changing, and we have to change with the times.”
Flakka has hit Florida hard, and has been spreading to states including Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. People using the drug suffer bouts of extreme paranoia. Flakka, also known as gravel, is highly addictive.
South Florida officials are also concerned about the illegal version of the painkiller fentanyl, which is mixed with heroin or sold as synthetic heroin. The drug has been found in 52 overdose cases in Miami-Dade County in the past year.