Synthetic Opioid W-18 10,000 Times More Powerful Than Morphine
W-18 is a new opioid that is supposed to be 100 times stronger than Fentanyl, which has been responsible for an increased number of opioid overdoses this year. Street versions of Fentanyl have been found to be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. There has been a rash of individuals entering drug rehab centers across the country, including Los Angeles, who were addicted to Fentanyl, and perhaps this next year we will see an increase of W-18 addicts.
The drug W-18 was first discovered in Calgary, Canada where it was trying to be passed off as Fentanyl, an opioid that has caused over 200 overdoses this year in Canada. This new drug is a synthetic opioid that is even more powerful than any other morphine derivative found on the streets. Drug rehab centers are already facing increasing challenges in treating Fentanyl addicts, and this new opioid will likely treatment even more difficult.
Vice reported that it is likely that this new drug was imported from China, because the country’s research chemical market is very unregulated. Government officials estimate that there will be even more deaths and overdoses in cities like Los Angeles, due to the strength of this new opioid and how unknown it is to the general population.
All of these pills are produced in home labs, which makes it more difficult for authorities to track how many are being produced and sold on the black market. It also makes it more difficult for health officials to know how strong each pill is because the strengths vary depending on who produced them. Drug rehab centers have been treating an increased number of patients for opioid addiction over the last decade and with this new, stronger drug on the markets, even more addicts may end up in need of treatment.
Cities like Los Angeles are sure to see this new drug gain popularity among opioid users because it is so strong. The drug rehab centers that treat opioid addiction will have to understand how to treat people detoxing off this powerful new substance, because the health dangers are sure to increase due to the potency of the drug.
Officials in Alberta, Canada called Fentanyl the biggest drug trend in 2015. It is not out of the question to guess that W-18 could overtake Fentanyl as the biggest reason for overdose-related deaths in 2016. Officials in Los Angeles and other cities need to be on the lookout for this lethal drug to prevent more deaths.