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Why are drug dealers putting fentanyl in everything? (Part 2)
An interview with a former dealer
This week, part two of the answer to our question, “Why are drug dealers putting fentanyl in everything?” We conclude this story with a man named Luis.
Luis started selling crack cocaine as a young teenager growing up in the South Bronx. Decades later he started selling fentanyl. When we spoke, he’d quit dealing and was recently sober. He was able to explain the logic of the world he came from, and how it could lead to dealers poisoning their own customers.
I’ve done a lot of interviews in my life, this conversation was unlike any of them. It will stay with me for a long time.
I don’t want to heap a bunch of extra words on the episode this week. I feel lucky we get to do what we do, which is to try our best to understand the world and the people in it. If you’d like to support our work financially, you can always do that here.
We mentioned these last week, but in case people are coming to this episode fresh.
The other website we mentioned is DrugsData.org, which gives you a rolling update of what’re in the illicit drugs sent it by strangers. You might be able to see what’s happening in your city, depending on where you live.
Here’s a link to Odyssey House, the treatment center we visited in this episode. If you suspect you might need help with a substance issue, ask for help. And remember, it’s sometimes hard to tell if you’ve got a tricky relationship with a substance until you try giving it a rest.
Also, depending on where you live, you should be able to get your hands on NarCan. You can find it as a nasal spray, it’s very easy to use. If someone is overdosing on opioids, you spray it up their nose and it can save their life. I carry NarCan in my car, because I figure it would be nice to be able to help someone who might need it someday. It’s been approved as an over-the-counter medicine but it’s not yet actually available. It’s worth tracking down where you live. Typically there are non-profits which do NarCan trainings and can send you home with some.
Two great pieces from the the field from Sarah Maslin Nir. Pulitzer-nominated reporter from the New York Times, you might know her from her excellent series on working conditions in nail salons.
Analysis from Zachary Siegel, who is skeptical of the idea that dealers are doing this intentionally, and lays out why in this piece. Worth reading for a different viewpoint on all this than ours.
Alright, that’s us this week. We will not have an episode for you next Friday, but we will have an episode for you the Friday after. You can always keep apprised of our schedule here.