Just another day…

It has just turned 1am here, beginning the 18th day of this month, a day which shall be spent in one of few, thoroughly conditioned, ways: the most likely is that I will imbibe considerable quantities of psychotropics. If that is not to be the case; my day will be spent trying to acquire cash for the drugs, or the drugs themselves. Less likely is that I will not alter my consciousness, due to factors out of my control, and a day like that would be spent furtively checking my finances, curtain-twitching, sweating, shaking slightly at first, though it worsens with every second, until I find myself trapped in the nightmarish, icy depths of withdrawal.

Before sitting down to write this, I performed perhaps my favourite ritual. Grasping the thin, white, plastic packaging and tearing from the corner, to reveal a rather unassuming piece of plastic with smooth edges. This is the Fentanyl patch. This 33.4 cubic centimeter object, consisting of a protective layer of plastic affixed to a translucent patch via a polymer matrix, looks so innocent, so harmless, so completely incongruous to its true nature. Using a ruler, sharp scissors and as steady a hand as I could muster, I began to dissect the patch. Intended to be used as a transdermal analgesic, releasing a specific dose of Fentanyl Citrate hourly for an extended timeframe (100ug/hr for 72 hours I.e ), these patches are often the end of the “opioid ladder” as the active analgesic (Fentanyl, often the citrate salt) is exceptional for pain relief, it is also a severe depressant to the respiratory system, with its effect having been compared to “an elephant sitting on one’s chest”, this effect is significant at even therapeutic levels. Combine this with the potency of Fentanyl; the generally accepted data is between 80 and 120 times that of, the gold standard that is, Morphine.
Morphine will produce analgesia at about 10mg, to obtain similar analgesic capacity using Fentanyl, one would use 0.1mg… 100 micrograms. Invisible to the naked eye.
It is perhaps the most dangerous opioid one can use, especially if the patches are not used transdermally.

Who would be so stupid as to use these recreationally? To inhale the narcotic vapours emanating, through a straw or similar item, from the plastic matrix when it is placed onto aluminium foil and heated slowly from underneath? There is an answer to that:

A Junkie like me.

After dividing the entire patch into 8 pieces, yielding roughly 1375ug per “strip”, I was left with a number of hopefully equally cut, and therefore dosed, “strips”. One strip was quartered to yield roughly 344ug, equivalent to ~30-40mg of Morphine. One 344ug section was placed in my mouth, to be absorbed directly through the membranes under the tongue, before being held between teeth and gums, and another was placed onto the foil tray I had prepared. With a six inch section of drinking straw in my mouth and Lady Fentanyl beckoning me, I struck the lighter and began applying heat behind the piece, with the foil tilted slightly. Slowly, vapours were released and that innocent piece of deadly plastic began sliding down the foil, inhaling as much as humanly possible, I sat back with my breath held for a short while. Within 7 seconds, an indescribable sense of warmth, comfort, and apathy enveloped me. As I exhaled the near-transparent vapours, all my negative feelings vanished, replaced by my slowly pulsing heart and a sense of pure bliss. Utopia. Nirvana.

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