How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Fentanyl Arrests and Overdoses in Florida?
The COVID-19 pandemic has made many of us realize, more than we ever did before, how many aspects of our daily lives are the direct result of things that happen all the way on the other side of the world. Just a few months after the first cases of the novel coronavirus were diagnosed in Wuhan, an industrial city in the Hubei province of China, people in dozens of countries were stockpiling food in anticipation that the only way they could avoid being infected was to stay home for weeks or months. You might be thinking for the first time about where the things you buy are produced or assembled and whether they will become scarce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Florida, even as Floridians have mixed emotions about reopening the economy, the pattern of drug arrests and prosecution of drug crimes has changed. Facing drug charges is still a possibility, and you might need the help of a Florida drug crimes defense attorney.
The Future of Fentanyl in the United States
Fentanyl is truly a drug that belongs to the information age. It is a synthetic opioid first synthesized in 1960, and it is much stronger than the narcotics derived from the opium poppy, such as heroin and morphine. In recent years, it has gained a reputation as the deadliest opioid as people who originally got addicted to prescription opioids no longer had access to them and turned to opioids sold on the street. A disproportionate number of opioid overdoses occur when a person takes heroin which, unbeknownst to them, has been adulterated with fentanyl. Because of its potency, fentanyl is very profitable for street dealers. In a medical setting, fentanyl is usually given during anesthesia or else as a nasal spray or transdermal patch for pain relief in an emergency setting.
Many people arrested in the United States arrested for possession of fentanyl or its precursors bought the chemicals online, usually from China. Much of the illegal fentanyl in the United States came from Wuhan, the city in China where the COVID-19 pandemic began and which underwent an extended shutdown of most business activities in order to bring the spread of the virus under control. Some websites from which people arrested for trafficking in fentanyl no longer list the drug for sale. It remains to be seen how the interruption in the supply of fentanyl will affect trends in drug use and illegal drug trafficking in the United States. It could mean that the street prices for opioids will increase, and it could also mean a decrease in the number of accidental overdoses.
Let Us Help You Today
Florida’s drug dealers have not yet run out of fentanyl, and if you buy illegal drugs, you may be surprised to find out, after they are confiscated and tested, that they contain fentanyl. Contact the Florida drug offense attorneys at the FL Drug Defense Group to discuss your case.