Skip to content

Now this is clever

Combat medicine
USAF Pararescue combat medics in Afghanistan used fentanyl lozenges in the form of lollipops on combat casualties from IED blasts and other trauma.[48] The stick is taped to a finger and the lozenge put in the cheek of the person. When enough fentanyl has been absorbed, the (sedated) person generally lets the lollipop fall from the mouth, indicating sufficient analgesia and somewhat reducing the likelihood of overdose and associated risks.[48]

Well done that man who thought that up.

However, the point here:

Europe has been warned that a flood of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States, is heading this way.

Belgium is on the front line of the new drugs war, as the main entry point for narcotics arriving from Latin America, and its customs chief says that fentanyl is a bigger threat than heroin or cocaine.

I thought the point about fentanyl was that, as a synthetic, it was easy to, umm, synthesise. So, what’s wrong with European industry then?

Or are the precursors difficult to get?

29 thoughts on “Now this is clever”

  1. Knowing Belgium :

    The Fentanyl factory has closef after a strike by workers

    It is Belgian plod who are doing the importing

  2. Idk why we don’t just legalise weed, Tim. It’s a hell of a lot safer than opiods, or even booze.

    People are going to take drugs, so we may as well nudge them towards the one that makes you giggle and chill, rather than ones that can cause organ failure or psychosis or Saturday night stabbings.

  3. Julia – it is, but not from the old fashioned flower kids used to enjoy at concerts. I’ve never heard of anybody go mental on a spliff.

    It’s definitely true that teenagers shouldn’t be taking drugs, otoh we don’t want them drinking either. And we definitely don’t want people taking fentanyl if we can help it.

    But we also know prohibition has failed, so Hippie problems > American ghetto problems.

  4. You’ve obviously little experience of the subject, Steve. There is no difference between the maryjane of flower power days & skunk other than the strength. And the resin variety is just the same. It’s just that one doesn’t need to smoke as much of it before crashing out, whatever.
    “Flower Power” was mostly a myth. The hippies were never particularly non-violent. See Manson. Heavy continual use causes all sorts of psychological problems. Particularly, irrational behaviour, paranoia & episodes of unprovoked violence.
    It’s similar to alcohol in that it can be a “social” drug that’s relatively harmless. In excess can result in the same sorts of anti-social behaviour. But there’s not the ‘falling down drunk’ limit there that’s inherent with alcohol. Users continue to be fully functional.
    And one really doesn’t want to be around heavy users. Mild quantities they’re just a bore. In the extreme they’re a bunch of nutters, can be dangerous.

  5. One of the problems with puff is we’ve never developed a social etiquette for it. With alcohol, you have social drinking, party drinking, even lads out on a stag night booze up. We have etiquettes to guide what’s appropriate when. There isn’t anything like that for cannabis. Has that person had a few tokes on a spliff or are they off their head? Do you want the guy changing your brake pads in KwikFit to be in cloud cuckoo land when he’s doing it?

  6. BiS – wacky tobaccy is a painfully middle class drug these days, but there’s not too many Charlie Mansons troubling the Home Counties. I think Charlie Manson and his crew had a lot of serious problems in addition to drug abuse. (Y’know, given that Charlie was viciously sexually and physically abused during his childhood. The man was evil, but he didn’t get that way on account of Cheech Marin).

    Idk why you say there’s no difference between types of the drug except the strength. Sounds a bit like saying there’s no difference between a bottle of the Glenlivet and a dram of the Glenlivet: obviously the amount you consume is always extremely important.

    Should people who enjoy a dram and can drink responsibly be denied whisky for the sake of alcoholics? We don’t think so. But that seems to be an argument used against Mary Jane.

    Anything that gets you buzzed can and will be abused, natch. Realistically, we can’t stop people seeking out chemical thrills, but we can to a certain extent make rational trade offs. Opiods seem to be absolutely fucking horrible by all accounts, I’d rather deal with stoners than zombies.

  7. Opiods seem to be absolutely fucking horrible by all accounts . . .

    Not the accounts of the users, who absolutely love them – often to the exclusion of near everything else. Which is rather the problem.

    Should people who enjoy a dram and can drink responsibly be denied whisky for the sake of alcoholics? We don’t think so. But that seems to be an argument used against Mary Jane.

    Same argument used against all drugs. Some people can be responsible, functional opioid users. But . . .

  8. ‘ Belgium is on the front line of the new drugs war, as the main entry point for narcotics arriving from Latin America, and its customs chief says that fentanyl is a bigger threat than heroin or cocaine.’

    … but a British lorry driver can’t get entry into the EU with a cheese and pickle sandwich for his lunch.

  9. @Steve
    What I said in the second comment. We have social etiquettes around alcohol use. We regard a dram of Glenlivit different to a bottle of same. You just said that yourself. There are no etiquettes around drug use. Maybe if they were legalised we’d create some. If you want to hang around for a generation or six.
    wacky tobaccy is a painfully middle class drug these days
    Maybe in whatever twee little suburb you live in. You go to the poorer areas of any city & the smell of cannabis smoke is ubiquitous.
    Heroin is one drug could probably be usefully legalised. Most addicts are functional people. The worst thing that happens is they end up killing themselves with it. Otherwise they’re just an obstacle to pedestrians. The violence is all about obtaining money to buy the stuff & in the supply chain.
    Coke? From what I’ve seen, right from the start, the more they’ve shoved up their nose, the more they want. And the long term diminishing returns on the exercise. Drug I don’t really understand. If you want zip there’s speed at a fraction of the price. Seems to give users self confidence. There’s a dearth of self confidence around. Not something I share.

  10. PJF – yarp. Opies love opioids, it’s a very strong intoxicant.

    You’re right of course: if I was being logically consistent, I’d say legalise all drugs. I’m not sure how much value there is in logical consistence tho: seems to me that the world is a messy, broken place and the best we can reasonably hope for is compromises we can live with.

    My view of weed is that it’s a mild intoxicant with fewer health and social dangers than most other drugs, including alcohol. It can be abused, but it’s more difficult to accidentally OD on grass.

    BiS disagrees and perhaps you do, too. That’s fine, and perhaps you’re right. But I would suggest BiS’s view of alcohol is slightly rosé tinted. A lot of violence, criminality and abuse in our society is fuelled by drink. If we could persuade everybody to spend their Friday nights playing board games with their family, that would be great.

    But we can’t, can we? Like Captain Aubrey, we must choose the lesser of two weevils.

  11. The rumors are that most of the fentanyl (like most other things) are being made in mass quantities in China, and imported into the West as a way to weaken us.

    The major problem with fentanyl is the small difference between “enough to get you high” and “enough to kill you”, combined with the amateur dilution methods (and their quality control) used by the dealers. Many other drugs are mixed with fentanyl to increase the effect, but that also makes them more dangerous.

  12. Legalisation of all the most recognised drugs is the only way to progress. Prohibition has failed as miserably as when tried by the Yanks in the 30s.

    Contrary to BiS’s argument, drugs etiquette does exist, although not amongst problem users, but the street cider addicts don’t follow alcohol etiquette do they? Sure, sink estates are full of addled criminal stoners, 200 years ago we had Gin Lane.

    99% of drug users harm neither themselves nor others. Sure you don’t want the Kwik Fit guy stoned but you don’t want him drunk either. I know plenty of regular smokers. All have good jobs and would no more sneak out for a toke than they’d swig from a hip flask.

    Criminal gangs are only involved in the drugs trade because of prohibition. No one gets murdered when Carlsberg wants to build market share.

    Despite Peter Hitchens claims to the contrary, the U.K. and other nations spend billions on trying to prevent drug use and have failed utterly.

    And fundamentally, what I put in my body is not the state’s business. The desire to police the behaviour of others simply because it’s not what you personally like is why we are subject to endless nannying campaigns about every thing from beer to biscuits.

  13. My view of alcohol is very un-rose tinted, Steve. I own a bar FFS! Thus I have an intense dislike of drunks. But what you’re saying exactly proves my point. Our society’s used to handling alcohol & dealing (albeit not well) with its downsides. We have no experience of dealing with the same with drugs, because they’ve been legally prohibited.
    They’re sort of dealing with this in Spain. Possession of small amounts, a week’s supply or so, is largely ignored. Portugal’s gone the same route. So at least they’ve a chance of building the etiquettes.
    If you’re going to have drugs, you have to have some consensus around when & how much. So people who are not using can relate to those who are & vice versa without too much friction. The general consensus on alcohol is appropriate amounts for appropriate occasions. We all know where we are. These are the non-legal restraints. Capiche?

  14. The wiki entry on fentanyl is an interesting read – precursors and finished fentanyl are churned out very cheaply by Chinese factories, and then smuggled into the US via Mexico

    In 2015 global legal production was 1,500kg. In 2021 the Feds seized 4,500kg (and that’s just what they seized), which would be enough to give fatal ODs to every single person in the US

  15. I know plenty of regular smokers. All have good jobs and would no more sneak out for a toke than they’d swig from a hip flask.
    That’s a complete load of bollocks. Middle-class desk jockey world. I’ve had to deal with people think it’s OK to be puffing all day. In situations where them doing so could be a hazard to others. They think it’s not the same as working with a can in one hand. Which they wouldn’t expect to do. “No different to ‘aving a fag, innit?”
    Think etiquettes & how etiquettes change. When I first started, drinking & driving was normal. You were a pussy if you didn’t. Getting captured was regarded as bad luck. Wrapping a car round a tree pissed, an achievement. Going out to lunch & coming back unsteady made you one of the boys. Now you say “I won’t, I’m driving” it’s generally accepted. Looking like you’re going to attempt to will get the hairy eyeball. Coming back to work with a shine on could be a disciplinary matter.

  16. I’ve had to deal with people think it’s OK to be puffing all day.

    So? The existence of people who misuse drugs is no argument for prohibition. People still drink and drive. I drove past a car crash today. I didn’t look but was told it was nasty. Probably fatal. Happens all the time but we do not ban cars.

    Your “I’m a diamond geezer who’s seen it all and you middle class ponces know nothing” schtick is both tedious and no substitute for logic.

  17. “Or are the precursors difficult to get?”

    Yes, and tightly controlled. And “easy to make” is relative. It’s not Shake’n’Bake.

    And why run the risk if you can simply order it in China and have it smuggled in as… well anything, really?
    You need so little of the stuff, stock amounts can be easily disguised and mailed.

  18. Making fentanyl should not be a problem for a moderately skilled chemist. You make it from scratch. Tedious, but it pays very well.

    But such people already earn decent money. So don’t need to. It would give me more money, I have a Chemistry degree, but not a better life.

    When the criminal gangs discover you have been doing it, life rapidly becomes very difficult. You can hardly go to the police and complain they are muscling in on your drug business.

    As with all drug businesses, supply is where it goes sour. You have to rely on the sort of people you would never want to rely on.

  19. This is the problem with addicts and criminals, we really don’t know how to reform them. Actually we do, but those methods are listed as crimes against humanity. Chinese reeducation camps would seem like spas.

    Unless the addict/criminal wants to reform, it ain’t gonna happen. All we can do is keep them off the streets where they can’t harm others.

  20. What’s the one that’s so easy to be made from cough medicine, so much so some places have shortages of cough medicine.

  21. @ Steve
    You have forgotten the origin of the word “assassin”: it was derived from the word “hashish” that was used to transform acolytes into psychopathic killers.
    When they started to use drug tests for train drivers involved in crashes they found that a majority of those “involved in” (responsible for) crashes causing deaths tested positive for cannabis (the modern name for hashish)
    Anyone who says cannabis is harmless is either ignorant or lying.

  22. “Skunk isn’t like your dad’s weed” is a trick that bansturbators always pull. It’s like all those fascists who wanted to keep us masked up. They kept on going on about variants, because a new variant means that well, we have to be cautious, delay etc.

    There is no actual evidence that any weed causes psychosis. None at all. The link is most likely a correlation, that people who are a bit like that smoke more weed to relax. If there’s a link, where are the bodies? We have millions of people smoking weed in this country. I’d expect to see an effect in the violent crime stats rather than them continuing to fall in the face of a growing population doing it.

  23. john77,

    “When they started to use drug tests for train drivers involved in crashes they found that a majority of those “involved in” (responsible for) crashes causing deaths tested positive for cannabis (the modern name for hashish)”

    Which is probably more to do with the fact that you can detect cannabis for 30 days and how common smoking weed is nowadays. How does it compare with drivers who didn’t have a crash?

  24. I’ve seen the arguments against legalisation, but is the War on Drugs ever going to be won?

    We can’t get to the point where society has ways of coping with drugs sensibly precisely because we aren’t allowed to. Perhaps if we legalised we might be able to work out some social control.

    So we spend a fortune locking people up for crimes against themselves.

    How about we merely remove the “I was on drugs” defence, and prosecute for offenses against others with the police power released?

    I’m guessing that the number of addicts will barely change. It hasn’t much in the places that have legalised or stopped prosecuting.

  25. Your “I’m a diamond geezer who’s seen it all and you middle class ponces know nothing” schtick is both tedious and no substitute for logic.
    And thus we have the current drug problem.
    Drug prohibition was brought in by the sort of middle-class people (in those days thankfully not generally university educated or it could have been worse) who make up governments. They didn’t approve of drugs & drugs use & decided to impose their views on the public. They believed that the public would react to the prohibition & the penalties to enforce it the same way as they would. All logical of course.
    And thus we get get the current situation. Isn’t it great?
    Now you’re proposing that the same people ( now generally university educated – God help us!) steer us through legalisation. With all the same assumptions. All logical of course
    Let’s just say this is going to be interesting…

  26. “…If we could persuade everybody to spend their Friday nights playing board games with their family, that would be great.

    But we can’t, can we?”

    And thank fuck for that!

  27. The “War on Drugs” is a false dichotomy. The term is used to mean that it is only won if everybody stops using. The purpose of the War on Drugs was to stop it spreading from the self-destructive fuckwits into the general population. Now that the War on Drugs has been abandoned, drug use has indeed spread into the general population. Paedo Joe was a big factor by opening the borders and allowing free flow of various narcotics into the US. A hundred thousand have ODd on fentanyl. Probably not too far short of that on meth, crack and heroin. Multiply by five to get a more realistic body count: the families of the deceased may still be alive but their lives have been wrecked. It’s not your body your choice. It’s everyone around you who has to put up with your abuse.

    The abnormally high road deaths in my happy country are largely due to the “victims” being stoned. Half the road deaths are pedestrians, bombed out of their tiny little minds. Drugs are an evil. We can’t eliminate them, but we don’t have to facilitate and encourage them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *