I am heartbroken to say I have lost another very close friend to me, and it has absolutely devastated my life.
This is Mark
Mark was a close friend of mine who tragically passed away August 20, 2016. He was one of the most genuine, caring people I've ever had to privilege to know, but was riddled with intense back pain and a depression brought on by tragedy in his own life. This pain eventually led him to self-medicate using percs, which eventually led him to Fentanyl, the beginning of the end. Friends and family all did their best to give him the love, help, and encouragement he needed. He voluntarily attended rehab for 35 days, and in that short time became much healthier than he had been in years. He would check in on everyone else before bed time each night to make sure everyone was alright, even though he himself was also there to get help. Things were looking up, but mere days after he left the drug was presented to him again, and the addiction was too strong for him to decline. Just five days after leaving rehab, Mark overdosed and was lost to us forever. It's a terrible feeling knowing that I'll never be able to see or talk to him again, and even worse knowing that his death was avoidable. His parents have put together a website in his honour, as well as to spread awareness of the dangers of Fentanyl. www.splitxd.ca/home.html (SPLIT XD was his gaming tag, he was an avid COD player and actively enjoyed Dueling Network.)
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100x more potent than morphine, and is prescribed for extreme pain, often to cancer patients. Only recently has the dangerous drug Fentanyl been brought to the public eye, and the amount of overdoses due to recreational use in recent years has increased significantly from the past. There are many methods of Fentanyl, the one I am most familiar with is the patch. Meant to be placed on the skin for release over many hours or even days, recreational users cut it into strips and smoke it. There is absolutely no way to know how much of the drug you are receiving this way (the drug is not distributed evenly on the patch), and as little as a few grains of sand too much is enough to shut your lungs down and cause overdose. There is now an even stronger version called Carfentanil, 10,000 more potent than morphine.
Fatal overdoses linked to Fentanyl have soared from 42 in 2012 to 418 in 2015. A huge part of the problem is that doctors are prescribing the drug far too easily (in 2015, enough prescriptions were written by doctors in Canada for every 1 in 2 Canadians), making abuse, misuse and illegal sale easier than ever. Ontario (where I reside) and its neighbouring provinces and states are being hit particularly hard ( Cincinnati, Ohio, having an outbreak of 178 overdose cases over a six-day period, Fentanyl found in 392 fatal overdose victims in past 2 years in Alberta, over 200 fatal overdoses in B.C. in first three months of 2016). The list goes on and on, but it is clear that this powerful drug is a significant problem and something needs to be done. Stay safe my friends, help those who need it and kids, don't do drugs.
My apologies for the depressing post, but I feel it's important that people know this is something that is happening, I wish you all the best my friends.