Deadly Synthetic Drug Introduced to Wayne County

Haaniya Mallick & Khadega Mohammad, Copy Editor

P-CEP students are more than aware of the drugs that circulate around the Park. However, many are not aware of the deadly drug that was introduced to Wayne County a couple of months ago. Carfentanil, a synthetic drug that is usually used in elephant tranquilizers, has been used by drug dealers to lace heroin.

The laced heroin is extremely deadly, and in Wayne County alone has led to the death of 19 people. P-CEP resource and security officers are all aware of these incidents. They have confirmed that no Park students have been identified to have taken the drug this school year.

Officer Andrew Curry, resource officer, said, that Carfetinakll is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, where two small grains can kill person. “What they’re doing is that they’re putting it into heroin. Sometimes when they do that, they use Fentanyl, which is an opiate-based neurotic.  So with that, and the heroine is also opiate-based too, it gets them more high. They started putting in Carfentanil, which is a large animal tranquilizer, which is also opiate-based and it is 10,000 times more potent than the Fentanyl is.”

Curry said, if someone is overdosed on Carfentanil it’s extremely difficult to get them out. “There are more overdose deaths. I haven’t seen any of that here at the Park regards to any type of heroin use.”

Curry added that Heroin is the gateway drug to the more life threatening opiate-based drugs. “Heroin is the least expensive drug so they switch to that and it gets to be more addictive and then it’s a slippery slope from here on down. When you buy illegal types of drugs you get hooked onto it from the pain medication work which is prescribed by a doctor. When you start taking any illegal street drugs you don’t know what’s in it, you don’t know what it’s cut with anything like that. So anytime we start handling anything that could possibly have Fentanyl or Carfetnol inside of it, we have to make sure that we’re using gloves because if we get it onto our skin and get it into our system, it could be deadly to us too.”

Officer Curry expressed additional concerns about how people should not be comfortable with putting dangerous substances into their bodies because they don’t know how it will react to them.

Officer Edward Jagst, a Park resource officer, told of an experience where a couple of students a few years ago were involved with a heroin overdose, and how scary the situation was for the school, friends and family. “You’re affecting your schooling, your life potentially…how do you influence them not to do it?” Jagst said. “You know, it’s not easy, you try to encourage, and we try to educate the best as we can, as quickly as we can. You don’t want to see anyone get hurt or in the hospital.”

Canton security officer Rick Thom said vaping and marijuana use are more of the types of drugs the officers see students using. “We don’t see the drugs on campus like we used to two years ago,” Thom said. “I think the biggest thing I see is people vaping; last year was when it [vaping] was really popular.  I know a lot of kids are still doing it, but we don’t see it as much as we did, I don’t think it’s as cool anymore.”

The Perspective spoke with Brian Spitsbergen, the Director of Community Relations from Growth Works, a licensed substance abuse provider by the State of Michigan that provides services to local families on maintaining a chemical free lifestyle.

Spitsbergen said vaping is a serious issue and that many do not realize it. “Anything that can alter your mood and brain chemistry, you are putting [many things at risk],” said Spitsbergen.

“I mean the vaping thing is an issue into itself too, because the main thing is that people aren’t just vaping, they are vaping concentrated forms of THC. They don’t understand the long term applications and so with other drugs, you have higher concentration, like the elephant tranquilizer, that’s being used as a more potent form of heroin.”

Kelsey Taylor, Plymouth senior, said, “If you’re going to do it, don’t be stupid about it; I mean you are already being stupid, doing it at school is an extra level of stupid.”