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Fentanyl in Italy

Fentanyl arrives in Italy, alarm bells ring

The zombie drug, both super cheap and extremely potent, has made its way to Italy. Fentanyl, as powerful as it is economical, has just entered the Italian drug market. The sudden, yet expected, scenario has already triggered containment, prevention, and information measures at addiction treatment centers. Given its rapid ascent elsewhere in the world, especially in the US, its contraband arrival in Italy was only a matter of time.

Fentanyl found in heroin dose in Perugia

A very recent discovery of the analgesic in a heroin dose in Perugia, central Italy (Umbria), has raised alarms. On Friday, May 3rd, a drug user asked a mobile drug-checking unit to analyze his dose, concerned about the effects he experienced after previous intakes. Immediately sounded the alarm. The mobile unit detected 5% Fentanyl in a dose containing heroin, codeine, and diazepam.

Now we know it’s here. Our situation is not comparable to the American one. There’s no need to alarm ourselves beyond a certain point, but neither should we pretend it means nothing.” This is the statement from Lorenzo Camoletto, the national coordinator for harm reduction in the national coordination of welcoming communities.

Piazza IV Novembre – Perugia (Fentanyl in Italy)

War on the zombie drug

Fentanyl, already present in Italy for medical and veterinary use, requires a prescription from a treating physician. The arrival of the analgesic in drug trafficking and contraband markets doesn’t seem to particularly intimidate experts (at least at the current state of affairs). It was only a matter of time.

A completely different scenario unfolds in the US, where Fentanyl has become more than a scourge of cities, causing over 100,000 deaths per year. Being highly potent, only small doses are needed, and as a synthetic opioid, it doesn’t rely on crop cycles, thus reducing labor costs. Consequently, its price becomes extremely competitive. By adding it to heroin, the cost of a pure heroin dose significantly decreases, resulting in similar effects on the consumer.

Fentanyl zombies
Fentanyl zombies in San Francisco

At the moment, a protocol is active to prevent the scourge from spreading in Italy and then to the rest of Europe. In this regard, public health authorities are tasked with verifying the validity of prescriptions from treating physicians to ensure there are no anomalies. At the same time, we are monitoring the consumption of Naloxone, used in cases of overdose.

The crackdown comes from Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Italian Government. The hope is to never have to face a Fentanyl emergency, well aware that in such a scenario, it would be the youth who would suffer the most, as they are more likely to veer onto the wrong path.

The keyword, therefore, is prevention, whether it’s at home, school, or the workplace.

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