America’s Deadliest Drug: Fentanyl | Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj | Netflix
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America’s Deadliest Drug: Fentanyl | Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj | Netflix


Tonight, I want to talk about
the opioid epidemic. Okay, I get it. All right, look… Last week we did Fortnite. So our pattern is fun, depressing, fun. So, if we get through this, next week, I’m going to do the whole episode
while jumping on a trampoline, okay? Now, it is no secret
that America is in the midst of one of the most devastating
drug epidemics in its history. For the last two decades, the opioid
epidemic has been getting worse and worse. In 2017 alone,
over 47,000 people died from opioids. But at last… there might be reason for hope. A newly-released government database
reveals the scope of the opioid crisis. For the first time since 1990,
deaths from overdoses declined last year. “The CDC credits the drop
to fewer deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers.” It looks like some of our responses
to the opioid crisis might be working. Isn’t it so weird
to hear genuinely good news? It’s like… when you see your favorite celebrity
trending on Twitter, and you’re like, “Oh, my God, please don’t
tell me he just got #MeToo-ed. Oh, he just died. Thank God. I can still watch his movies.” You haven’t felt that? I know it’s dark, but look,
compared to 2017, 2018 overdose deaths were down almost 5%. Experts say, the drop comes from investments
in treatment and public awareness. Though there’s something else
that should get credit, too. “Narcan also known as naloxone, the generic name for the drug,
is an opiate blocker that can literally revive
an overdose victim.” “Jennifer Plumb,
an emergency room pediatrician, says naloxone is a miracle drug.” Understand this stuff is really good
at what it does. It has one job. You can just save a life with it. I mean, how amazing is that? Does it really bring people back
from death? It really does. Wait, so you’re telling me
I could bring back Al Pacino? And the lady’s like,
“Leslie, Al Pacino’s not dead. He’s in a movie right now. Naloxone’s incredible.” Naloxone is a godsend, though,
and it’s very big business. Last year, the naloxone spray market
was $178 million, and by 2026,
it’s expected to hit nearly a billion. The only other market that’s
growing that fast is Casey Affleck insurance. So that’s the good news. Prescription opioid deaths are down. However,
that graph isn’t telling the whole story. After soaring overdoses
from prescription pain meds, then heroin, now it’s a synthetic opioid, fentanyl,
on a rapid rise. Over half the deaths from overdoses
that we’re seeing right now in America are caused
by the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Fentanyl is often called the third wave
of the opioid crisis. The first wave was when doctors were over prescribing painkillers
like OxyContin. The second wave happened
when addicted patients then turned to heroin. And the third wave is fentanyl. And because of fentanyl, overdose deaths have exploded. Now, when I first saw this graph,
I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. It looks like the income
of everyone in Destiny’s Child. Right, like, you have Michelle… you have Kelly and then you’re like,
“Oh, shit! It’s Beyoncé!” That moment, right here, this part, right here, that is Lemonade. That is when
she stopped talking to everybody else. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin. This photo is terrifying. Now, not just because it looks like
Honest Abe’s about to get high, but because this much fentanyl
can kill an elephant, and that’s not just
some big-ass novelty penny. That’s just a regular
why-do-we-still-have-these penny. In the last five years, fentanyl and its analogs have killed
an estimated 95,000 people. That is nearly two-thirds
of all opioid deaths. And this thing, it does not discriminate. Young… old, rich, poor, famous. Prince. Tom Petty and Mac Miller all had fentanyl
in their systems when they died. So chances are
you know somebody affected by fentanyl. I personally know multiple people who have lost their lives to fentanyl. And the saddest part is
they didn’t even know they were taking it. And I know for sure,
they weren’t trying to die. But somehow fentanyl got them. So I’ve been paying attention
to how we talk about the opioid crisis, and the problem is… a lot of times we lump all the opiods
together like they’re the same. But they are not. Fentanyl is a completely different animal
than oxy or heroin and the truth is… there is no beating the opioid crisis
until we figure out how to beat fentanyl. So tonight, let’s actually focus on fentanyl
and look at where it’s coming from and why we haven’t been able to stop it. The first thing you need to know is that
the story of fentanyl has two parts. There’s the legal side of fentanyl,
which involves pharmaceutical companies and the illegal side of fentanyl,
which goes by a lot of different names. What’s on the street is
a chemistry creation also known as “Apache,” “China Girl”
or “TNT.” “‘Friend,’ ‘Jackpot,’ ‘TNT,’
and ‘Tango & Cash.’” “Dance Fever,” it’s called.
“Goodfella,” “Jackpot,” “Murder Eight.” Why does it sound like Vin Diesel came up
with all of those titles? He’s just like, “‘Murder eight,’ ‘China girl,’ ‘Cookie Dust,’
‘Tricep Fire.’” Good job, Vin. Way to stay focused. No matter what it’s called, illegal fentanyl usually isn’t sold
on its own. It’s often laced into heroin,
which can have devastating consequences. “Huntington,
once a thriving industrial hub, had been crippled by years of job loss,
rising crime and 1,600 overdoses the previous year. The calls started coming in at 3:21
on a warm August afternoon. In just four hours,
26 people had overdosed on a batch of fentanyl-laced heroin.” This is one of the most tragic parts
about fentanyl. It kills a lot of people
who don’t even know they’re taking it. And that’s because the heroin coming up
from Mexico these days is being laced with fentanyl,
which is really dangerous. Remember a pinch of this
can kill an elephant. So the margin here is just razor-thin
for any error. So you might be wondering… why on earth would cartels risk
killing their own customers? It’s because they can afford to. It is the same business model
as Jack in the Box. Come on! Two tacos for 99 cents. That is not a deal. That is rat poop roulette, okay? No one’s talking about this. Fentanyl-laced heroin
is ridiculously profitable, okay? It is 20 times more profitable
than regular heroin. Here’s how you do it, okay? You start with some pure heroin,
that’s the “H,” okay? And then you cut it with
whatever shit you have, which is the… you guys get it, right? “S,” okay. So you got all this really diluted heroin, and if you sprinkle in
a few thousand bucks of fentanyl, you can make $1.5 million
worth of product. It’s like selling bottled water
at the airport. You ever notice how you just
magically walk into LaGuardia and you’re like, “All right,
I guess Dasani is $17 now?” That’s the fentanyl effect. Here’s what’s weird, though. Most fentanyl doesn’t originally come
from Mexico, which is kind of surprising. Doesn’t it sound like a drug lord’s dream? Like, you would think
El Chapo would have invented it. But what you don’t know is,
he was really bad at o-chem. And it turns out even Mexican cartels
need a connect. “Javier says he sources
the precursor chemicals to make fentanyl from China.” “While doing our interview,
Javier is called by one of his men. They take us to another location
where we wait.” And in the meantime, he just left
his half a kilo of heroin right here. So it’s just us and half a kilo of heroin. Okay, that news crew is
for sure about to do heroin. Like, look at the way she’s looking at it. “Like I’m just not gonna do anything? Let’s do some heroin,
let’s have some fun.” Also, isn’t that the trick you use
when you want to see your crush again? You’re like, “Hey, it’s Javier, you know,
the guy with all that gauze on his face. Did I leave a half a kilo of heroin
at your place? Do you want to just grab dinner?
Let me know.” Like everything else in America,
most fentanyl is made in China. Even though China has regulations
to stop illegal fentanyl, the government rarely enforces them. It’s like taking Costco samples. Like, in theory, there are rules. But in reality,
you can do whatever you want. You know how you go in, and they’re just like,
“Sir, please take one sample.” And you’re like,
“I need twelve for my entire family.” And they’re like,
“Sir, how big is your family?” And you’re like, “Why can’t you just be
like Trader Joe’s and not ask questions? Let me do this.” Dude, sometimes I’ll just run for it. I’m like, “Fuck it. You just have a vest.
You can’t stop me. Let me live. I’ve been a proud card carrying member
since 1988.” I know that’s not possible. Now, the point is… that is why there is
so much Chinese fentanyl around and getting it is super easy, even if you’re not a drug king-pin. “Law enforcement says
it’s just a click away on the internet.” They can order it from China. “My producers and I decided
to put that to the test.” I am interested in getting fentanyl sent to us, submit. “And then, just a few minutes later…” Whoa! The email already came through. “We ship to U.S.A.
We only accept Bitcoin as payment method. Warm regards.” Wow! “Warm regards?” Damn, I feel like those drug dealers care
about me. They’re like, “Hey, here’s enough fentanyl
to wipe out Milwaukee. Warm regards, Xiaofan.” I’m like, “Thank you, Xiaofan.” Americans are buying
illegal Chinese fentanyl on the dark web and then having it shipped to them
through the U.S. postal system. And now you know why millennials
get so excited every time they get mail. They’re like,
“Oh, my God! It’s Fentanyl Friday!” Now look, humans have been trying to get
opium into our bodies for a long time. We love this stuff, and why wouldn’t we?
Look at opium poppies. It is a beautiful flower with drugs in it
that eases pain and gets you really high. That’s why we have found
every possible way to ingest it. We drank poppy tea back in the day. We smoked opium. We injected morphine. We shot heroin, and if you haven’t watched Euphoria
on HBO, now you’re all caught up. But in the mid-20th century, something big happened. Scientists figured out how
to make opioids synthetically without needing any of those poppies. This was a game-changer. Not just for opioid users, but for the companies
who could profit from selling it. Which brings us to the legal side
of fentanyl. Before anyone ever really sold fentanyl
on the black market, there were two important uses for it,
okay? It was given to people for surgeries, and it was prescribed
to a very specific group of people. Late stage cancer patients
with pain so bad… other opioids no longer worked. Those were the only people
it was supposed to go to, but instead… A new study finds as many as half of patients prescribed
fentanyl painkillers should never have received them. “The Journal of the
American Medical Association found thousands of people were prescribed
fentanyl for far less serious conditions.” “Doctors prescribe
these powerful drugs for groin pain, oral pain, and more.” Can you imagine going to the doctor like,
“Yo, my crotch hurts.” And then he’s like, “Okay, here’s the strongest drug known
to mankind.” You’re like, “It’s just an itch, but… fuck it, I guess.” By the way, real quick.
Who’s in their graphics department? What the fuck is this? They’re like, “We don’t have a visual.
Someone open up Microsoft Word and type in ‘groin pain’ and ‘oral pain.’ Make sure you grab it!” Like, what the fuck, man? Now, here’s the question. Besides these shitty graphics,
how did so many people get prescribed a supercharged medication
they should have never had? Well, it has to do
with the drug’s origin story. Fentanyl was first synthesized in 1960
by a scientist named Paul Janssen, and at the time, it was
the most powerful opioid ever created, but in 1981,
Janssen’s patent on fentanyl expired, and the drug
became a generic free-for-all, and the other pharma companies
went gangbusters. They started making fentanyl patches,
sprays, and lollipops, which made for some very strange
instructional videos. “Place the Actiq unit into your mouth between your cheek and gum and actively suck on the medicine. Plan to finish the Actiq unit completely
in fifteen minutes. If you finish Actiq too quickly, you will swallow more of the medicine
and get less relief.” Why is that lollipop so small? They’re in pain, man.
At least put some bubblegum on the inside. Now, unlike with oxy,
the FDA knew how dangerous fentanyl was. So they tried to regulate it. In 2011, the FDA created something called
The TIRF-REMS program, a strict set of rules to make sure
doctors prescribed fentanyl only to that small group
of cancer patients. There was just one problem. Instead of the FDA running TIRF-REMS, they did something really stupid. They out-sourced it
to the pharmaceutical companies, and then pharmaceutical companies
hired a company called McKesson, one of the world’s largest
drug distributors to run it. In other words… The purpose of the TIRF-REMS program is
to make sure that these drugs stay only with those that it’s indicated for. McKesson had no interest
in shutting people down from getting this drug
because they supply the drug. That is the textbook definition
of a conflict of interest. Imagine if Eminem was like, “Too many kids
are calling their mom a ‘bitch.’ You know who can handle it? Slim Shady.”
You’re like… “Em, that’s you.” On top of that, the exam the doctors had
to pass was ridiculously easy. “Doctors who want to prescribe drugs
in this program need to complete an eleven-question quiz, but it’s an open book test
with the answers easily found in this nine-page handout.” It’s an open book test? And it’s multiple choice. How is it that easy
to get something this dangerous? Just for comparison, and this is true, you need to take an eight-hour course
to sell churros in Times Square. You know those guys who sell peanuts? They failed churro school. So the government’s attempt
to regulate prescription fentanyl was a massive failure, but we can’t forget a huge part of the blame also falls
on fentanyl makers themselves. They’ve been aggressively pumping fentanyl
for years, and it’s a tactic that they took directly
from Purdue’s OxyContin playbook. Purdue convinced everyone
that oxy wasn’t that addictive, which is insane. It’s like if Juul told people, “Hey, it’s just water vapor
in a thumb drive, kids.” Meanwhile, every fourteen-year-old
that you know has nicotine shakes like it’s fucking 1920. Look, there’s a lot of corporate blame
to go around for prescriptions fentanyl abuse, but I want to focus
on a few key companies. The first you might have heard about. Either because they’ve been in the news
or because they make SpongeBob Band-Aids. Johnson & Johnson
will be the defendant today when an opioid-related lawsuit goes
to trial. Oklahoma’s attorney general
is suing Johnson & Johnson. The AG says the company
deceptively marketed the drugs by overstating the benefits of opioids
and downplaying the risks of addiction. I know that’s jarring. It’s like hearing
Pantene makes atom bombs. You’d be like, “Wait. The secret ingredient is uranium?” J&J made a fentanyl patch
called Duragesic, and Oklahoma prosecutors say that
the company marketed it as a much safer drug than it actually was, contributing to the 6,100 opioid deaths
in that state alone. But J&J is just the start. When it comes to over the top marketing
for fentanyl, no one went harder
than a company called Cephalon. They sell fentanyl in a number of forms,
including that skimpy lollipop that I was talking about earlier… and pills. They are really obsessed with pills. This is an actual Cephalon sales meeting
from 2006. “Introducing Fentora, the first and only buccal tablet
that utilizes effervescence to improve the rate and extent
of fentanyl absorption. A change is here. Fentora, relief at effervescent speed.” It is a beautiful day. If you’re gonna force something
on people they didn’t ask for, it makes sense to use U2. Also, why are they introducing that
giant pill like it’s Criss Angel? They’re like,
“Fentora, it’s a mind freak!” And then Criss Angel pops out. Oh, by the way… remember those lollipops? Thanks to Cephalon’s aggressive
sales force, doctors prescribed them
to a lot of people who didn’t have cancer. In 2006, only 1% of the lollipop
prescriptions were written by oncologists. 1%. Imagine if finding out only 1%
of drivers licenses were given out by the DMV. Actually, that would explain a lot. Okay. Cephalon knew this was wrong. That’s why when they settled
a nearly $450 million federal lawsuit, they plead guilty to pushing fentanyl
on people who didn’t need it. But other fentanyl makers just went
with good old-fashioned corruption, like Insys. Five top drug company executives
have been found guilty in a bribery case
involving the opioid fentanyl. The multi-billionaire founder
of Insys Therapeutics and four other top execs
convicted of racketeering. Prosecutors say their scheme involved
bribes, kickbacks, even lap dances for physicians
who prescribed large amounts of the company’s fentanyl spray
to patients who did not need it. They were getting lap dances? I don’t want to die because some
horny doctor wants to make it rain. This entire bribery scandal happened
under their former CEO John Kapoor, who looks like Al Franken in brown face. Now, before he was a convicted felon, John Kapoor made himself a shitload
of money. “A pharmaceutical entrepreneur. Dr. John Kapoor. That’s him in the middle. Forbes lists him as one
of the wealthiest people in America.” How does he look like he’s twelve years old
and 80 years old at the same time? Dude, this is messed up. He made all of those people filthy rich,
and nobody would even give him a boost. You know what pisses me off? Even though he’s gonna be in prison,
you know his parents are still gonna be like, “You know John’s a pharmacist, right?” This Punjabi Oompa Loompa
became a billionaire by pushing addictive drugs
through bribery and corruption. And some Insys employees were told
to go even further. I would say, “Hi, this is Patty.
I’m calling from Dr. Smith’s office. I’m calling to request prior authorization
for a medication called Subsys.” They thought you were from
the doctor’s office. Yes, because that’s what I told them because
that’s what I was trained to tell them. “To get a surefire approval,
Patty said she’d sometimes just claim the patient had cancer.” You see a cancer patient,
you were like, “Yes!” That was exciting. This is a slam dunk.
I can do this without any guilt. Imagine how messed up your job has to be if your response to hearing that
someone has cancer is, “Oh, this is a slam dunk.” There was no line Insys wouldn’t cross
to sell more fentanyl. “Sarah Fuller didn’t have cancer. She was plagued with chronic neck
and back pain from two car accidents. But her doctor Vivienne Matalon actually brought an Insys sales rep
to an appointment. Fourteen months after
she started taking Subsys, Sarah was found dead on her bedroom floor.” What killed your daughter? Well, technically fentanyl. But a drug company who couldn’t care less
about a human life. That’s heartbreaking… and infuriating and there are a lot
of stories like Sarah’s, which is why earlier this year,
Insys settled a federal investigation of their bribery scheme for $225 million, which made Insys the first opioid company
to go bankrupt. Insys basically OD’d on its own
shittiness, which sounds like justice, until you hear what’s happening right now. These motherfuckers
can’t sell fentanyl anymore, but they can sell the antidote
for fentanyl, naloxone. So, let me hit that home for a second. Insys went bankrupt because of opioids, and now they’re trying
to revive themselves with naloxone. They’re just gonna spray it
right up their profit hole, and they are the last people
who should be doing this. But our pals at Cephalon
are somehow even worse. Cephalon is now owned
by Teva Pharmaceuticals, and four months ago, Teva got FDA approval
for its naloxone spray. So do you understand
what’s happening here? They’re unleashing a plague
and also selling the antidote. That’s actually the plot
of Mission: Impossible 2, and I know that because last night
I spent nine hours watching it on TNT. These companies help fuel
the fentanyl crisis on both ends, legal and illegal. When they marketed legal fentanyl
to patients who didn’t need it, a lot of people ended up getting hooked, and that intensified the appetite
for illegal fentanyl, which is leveling so many communities
across the country. Now, at this point,
we have seen this pattern. A powerful new opioid is created, the companies in charge
push it recklessly, people get addicted to it, and once it’s out there, it’s out there. The genie is out of the bottle. We saw it with oxy, we saw it with fentanyl, and, guys, this is fucking crazy to say, but we’re about to see it again. The FDA has approved a powerful
and controversial new painkiller. Dsuvia is an opioid taken in pill form,
ten times stronger than fentanyl and up to a thousand times stronger
than morphine. Projected annual sales of this drug–
$1.1 billion. Wow, so people stand to make
a lot of money off this. Dsuvia is ten times stronger
than fentanyl. What could possibly go wrong? Look, we know the problems
this is gonna bring. How do we make sure this drug only gets
to the right people? How do we make sure
people don’t get addicted to it? And how do we make sure
it doesn’t start killing people like the people I knew who never even intended to take it
in the first place? Unless you can answer those questions, guess what, pharmaceutical companies? This crisis is on you. Warm regards.

100 Comments

  • Jared Hansen

    Sorry to express an opinion that is not aligned with the opioids are plague" and "fentanyl is the worst opioid" bandwagon, but the bottom line of this video is fundamentally ignorant about the biochemistry of opioids, which is a pretty big problem, since it purports to say something factual about them.

    There is a unit of measure called "morphine equivalent dose" ("meq") used to express the relatiove analgesic (pain relieving) effect of all the various opioids, and even non-opioid pain relievers, by comparing each drug's analgesic effect to morphine, taken orally (note that the benefit of taking a pain reliever orally, vs IV, vs as a skin patch, vs something dissolved under the tongue, makes a large difference in how much of the drug makes it to the brain and ultimately does you any good, and each drug has different chemical properties that determine how effective each delivery method is. For instance, morphine doesn't absorb thru the skin very well, at all, and so you don't see morphine intradermal skin patches. However, fentanyl and buprenorphine absorb thru the skin much more effectively than morphine or even when taken orally. These chemical properties are what determines how drugs are marketed (as pills, or patches, or suckers, etc). When a company markets fentanyl as a sucker, they are just trying to make the (more effective than swallowing) "sublingual" delivery method more palatable and practical.

    But more importantly, there is very little difference between the different opioid chemicals, aside from their wide range of MEQ values – the MEQ strength is fundamentally just a measure of how well the chemical bonds to what is called the "mu" nerve receptor, which is the primary receptor that governs pain signals in the body. There are some additional, subtle differences in side-effefts between the drugs, such as how well they bond to the "kappa" receptor and a few other interactions, but the significance of these side-effects is impacted much more by a patient's particular DNA for coding those receptors, rather than differences between the opioid drugs. That is, there are several dozen slightly different DNA sequences for constructing a MU receptor, and every human has two of these recipes (one in each chromosome). Likewise, everyone has 2 copies of the recipe for breaking down opioids once they are in the body, and each opioid has a slightly different pathway for being "digested" and/or expelled from the body.

    It is these subtle differences in everyone's DNA that causes one person to find, say, oxycodone makes them nauseated, while hydrocodone gives them no negative side-effects.

    THESE SUBTLE DIFFERENCES ARE THE WHOLE REASON DOCTORS AND DRUG COMPANIES CREATE DISTINCT DRUGS THAT FUNDAMENTALLY DO THE SAME THING – they are functionally equivalent in most people, but subtly different in how they affect individuals with different DNA, diets, and lifestyles.

    FENTANYL IS NO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER OPIOIDS! IT IS NOT "MORE ADDICTIVE", AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRESCRIPTION OF 45 MEQs of Fentanyl and a prescription of 45 MEQs of oxycodone!

    Actually, one of the benefits of fentanyl over other opioids is that a much smaller weight of chemicals can do the job of a larger weight of, say, hydrocodone – such as for people who are severely nauseated and tend to vomit a pill of hydrocodone, while not noticing an equivalent dose of fentanyl given via a patch or siblingually.

    Please don't try to address the opioid crisis via uninformed reasoning. The problem isn't this or that chemical? Or the "strength" of this or that chemical. The problem is simply the general property of addictive chemicals, behaviors, and even ideologies.

  • Louis Savard

    Thank you to talk about it. The FDA let this append and in the same time ICE run behind the mexicains where they work, because they are suppose to be a criminal ( drugs dealers), come on Americans wake up.

  • _Azile_

    My moms a speech pathologist and when she had her work bag, there were always those Johnson and Johnson lolipops. And she had to do that test and passed completely. So-

  • Julie Huth

    This episode was the best one yet. I appreciate the passion and work put into this topic that impacts so many. Really Good job Hasan!

  • General Terms Jr

    America's deadliest drug is the self inflicted stupidity, the self inflicted lack of basic academic education and a complete lack of critical conscience.

  • justin duhe

    I had 3 brain surgeries for a tumor and was on Fentanyl for 24 hours after each. It was the best drug I have ever been given and almost instantly made me want more. By the second surgery I would stay awake the whole 24 hours so that I could get as much Fentanyl as possible. On the other hand, Fentanly is one of the top ten essential drugs. In the military it is used on the battle field and is better than morphine.

  • Brian Fong

    Why are his hands constantly going in his pocket? Isn't it wierd?
    Not sexual wierd.
    It is strange human behavior wierd. I dunno, someone help me figure it out.

  • Robert Hickey

    See my Brother I have an idea and it's simple. Why hasn't someone created a collar that one would wear that interrupts the pain signals going to the brain so one with chronic pain wouldn't feel it and not have to take medication? It truly sucks to be the forgotten:-( I know if I had Billions at my disposal I would save the world and give the people a life we can all enjoy living 🙂 and I'm not saying this to be rich, for I don't like money very much but I do love life and the uniqueness of people and there culture. Be well

  • Charlie Metzger

    this piece got a lot of things wrong and has a lot of misinformation and outdated info. especially the part with the little tiny bit of powder on a penny was just WILDY inaccurate. what they PROBABLY meant was that the powder was CARFENTANIL, not regular fentanyl, that amount of carfentanil could probably kill a person who was completely opioid-naive and I'd say like 50/50 it could kill someone who was opioid-tolerant. but it DEFINITELY wouldn't kill an elephant. carfentanil is literally only used on large mammals like elephants, rhinos, giraffes, etc when they need to be sedated or operated on. that's literally its purpose. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/3/22/18277144/fentanyl-opioid-epidemic-touch-overdose

    now that "scary new" drug they mention at the end, Dsuvia, is just a brand name for sufentanil, it's not "new" it was first synthesized in 1974 and been used in humans for almost as long. it is the strongest opioid that is used in humans. it's mainly used in surgeries or post-surgery for people who are already highly opioid-tolerant. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufentanil

    then when they talk about how heroin is laced with fentanyl…….no….no….no, that was the case back in like 2015-2017ish. in many parts of the country (the west half and south portions mostly get tar instead of powder so they are a little different) there is ZERO actual heroin in street heroin. and it's NOT fentanyl anymore it's a smorgasbord of fentanyl analogs of which there are many dozens. common ones are butyr-fentanyl, furanyl-fentanyl, acetyl-fentanyl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fentanyl_analogues and even other research opioids like U-47700. those fentanyl analogs vary in strength from weaker than morphine to 5x, 10x, or 25x etc stronger than morphine.

    your data is WAYYYY behind. true actual fentanyl bein spiked into actual heroin is over with. there is no more heroin out there…..it's fuckin gone in many places (like I said, places that get tar are a little different and are still getting some real heroin) and to keep saying FENTANYL FENTANYL FENTANYL all over the place is equally inaccurate. nobody is importing fentanyl because the truth is, it's a shitty opioid. it wears off too fast, it has very little euphoria like heroin and oxy does, it basically just makes you tired and takes away the dope sickness and it's too hard to measure out proper doses and sell without killing your clients. it's way cheaper to buy/import these analogs. ya just throw a couple grams of whatever analog you have (say Butyrfentanyl) into the blender, throw 30-40-50 grams of lactose or whatever cut you use into the blender, mix it up, rock it up and boom "street heroin" that you can sell for $100+ a gram. some of the street level dealers have become amateur chemists and get different batches from around town and figure out, "ok people say this one hits hard but doesn't last long, this one they say lasts long but is kinda weak." and they mix em up to create combinations that people will like better and buy.

  • P V

    ok thats it…..i have fallen in love with PATRIOT ACT
    THEIR JOURNALISM
    THEIR VISUALS (GRAPHICS AND STATS)
    THEIR HOSTING (H&M [HASAN MINHAJ]) B) see wt i did there???
    this is probably the best news source for me now, and the best ever i have ever come accross!!!!
    hats off hasan

  • Don Ghidoni

    Synthetic drug not the legitimate pharmaceutical drugs that people dealing with acute and chronic pain. Meanwhile doctors out of fear of being tagged as drug dealers are restricting legitimate therapy to their patients.

  • Alston Fernandez

    Fentanyl is a Chinese Government revenge towards white people for supporting the opium wars.
    https://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2017/07/31/opium-boston-history

  • MsMsantrophe

    I wish Hasan didn’t curse so much so I could show this entire series to the “younger ones” … as I think these are better researched and provide more facts than “real journalism”…. and could definitely benefit them

  • Imroz K

    Hello Hasan.
    You are just amazing. Kudos to your research team for digging out these facts/information. The way you deliver it is commendable. You make us laugh and at the same time help us understand what’s really going on.
    Keep up the good work and I always look forward to your upcoming episodes.
    You deserve to get an award for your work.
    God bless.

  • david beardy-kam

    Shouldn't the FDA be held accountable as well. Who are those people,they should be made public and scrutinized to the max.

  • Raul Deen

    So insys bribes doctors to over prescribe fentanyl which will kill multiple people and insys which partly caused the fentanyl problem is still allowed to make money bu selling narcan. NICE JOB GOVERNMENT

  • Jirachi TeamInstinct

    Some of these overdoses might be people with with dementia, or some other neurological problem who just innocently aren’t using it properly, or euthanasia, just saying 🤔

  • Ali Anari

    wtf kind of doctors are those?! I never prescribe meds like that. there literally is no need for a medication 10x stronger than fentanyl, if something that strong is needed, you ought to be hospitalized, not receive a prescription. this is insane.

  • Tes Tos

    Good luck with that, they don't give a sheet, its all about money, the FDA is a worthless POS drug dealer! Doctors use tablets to make diagnostics, and all they can do is put a Bandaid on your medical problems. The only guilty in this entire problem is the person taking the drugs. You can blame other countries for making the sheet, but Amerikkka consumes it. That is the problem, it an easy fix, don't take any medication unless you read the instructions, don't trust the foking doctors, don't trust the Nurses, and get second and third opinions if you must. But above all don't take the foking drugs, see problem solved! It's time to make Amerikkka drug free again!

  • Fay Belle

    Veterinarian killed my dog using Fentanyl patch. My dog went into renal failure.

    I wish it was my husband's heroin addicted mistress

  • The Write In President

    Twitches In The Weeds…

    I have wondered how {{{the Depopulation happened}}} while so many slept??? I now see that [before we could] awaken the nonmason……, The FREE MASON INTERNATIONALIST {with their G4S Academy} +=+ U.N. Troops would [spell bound] the American Population {into submission} through magic and sorcery [of the] TV Screen through Video Games – Dark Movies……, and Senseless Endless Comedies, and {while the masses watched} their favorite TV MATRIX Shows the C.O.P.S. [of the] Backwards U.S. War Flag Patch {would round up} the Homeless once a Year [and make them] disappear, and {none would be} the wiser…

    Anonymous [would post] /* Shopping Carts and Clothing and Food {left abandoned} in City after City…., Year after Year, but {no one knew the homeless} were being taken to County Jails to be [disposed of later] after indefinite detention {in these} American U.S. Citizens Concentration Camps… However, [once you see] all NEWS from Atlanta Local News to FOX and CNN {saying there is} a HOMELESS Epidemic!!!!!…, and then they [show them] PEOPLE drinking Vodka {Under Bridges} of Hwy 285…., and Hypodermic [Needles in L.A.] California, you know {they are about to do} another sweep….., and purge of U.S. Citizens cause [what you] do not see, you {do not} care, and once the TV Shows {move on to} the NEXT Sentient Pulse….., people forget [them Homeless People] were just other U.S. Citizens…

    It has taken time {in all my Travels} to empty U.S. Mega Cities, and Dead Small Towns??? Where [are the] Walkers??? Where [are the] People??? What happened {to all} the Poor whom {have to live} on the Streets cause The Churches LOCK THEIR DOORS [to any and all] who can not {pay their way} to Worship the GOD OF THE UNITED STATES!!! They [took us away] in the night as C.O.P.S. {under orders} of Foreign Nations cleansed The Streets {of all these} undesirables!!! Most people [spend their lives] in their Cars from Work to Home, so they {won't even notice} their fellow U.S. Citizens are gone, and I am sure [this has happened] in Canada, Australia, and the E.U. and U.K. [for this] is Q – aka – Agenda 21 and Agenda 30 of JADE HELM 15 and the U.N.

    Now {you know how} they did it, and why [once a year] those of you {who saw homeless people] sleeping in tents, or on benches, or under the bridges [keeping to] them selves, and {maybe seeking} shelter, and help, and food [are no] more… Your Taxes {paid for} FREE MASON INTERNATIONALIST Thugs [to take] them, beat them, and {throw them into} County Jails on Trumped up [charges of] Loitering, Vagrancy, and the RULE OF LAW {that says} NO TRESPASSING…, so [we can now] Arrest you {for being} without shelter!!! Welcome [to the] NEW WORLD ORDER as {you allow} this RACKA to go on, but we with weapons [have plans for] these Nest Sweeps, and these U.S. Citizens {will be armed} to protect themselves from Monsters…

    Johnny Exodice

  • Ben Jerry

    Personally I had never heard of it till recently. Its a USA problem, fentanyl. I think you need to take a look at your Drug manufacturers, Doctors and health industry. Pain killers seem to be a big industry in the states.

  • thescrybe

    So…the pharmaceutical industry creates the opioid epedimic.
    Then markets the solution (Naloxone). Brilliant! (read: Monstrous)

  • Mat J

    Great episode! This has been an issue in my community for some time now. I am fighting as a community leader and therapist to end the stigma associated with substance use as mental health. This is definitely a way to get the awareness up. Please support if you can by going to SoberWords.com or Sober Words on IG or Facebook. Learn the movement! Join the movement.

  • BAims

    Finally someone who knows the difference between prescribed opiate and fentynal. I take prescribed opiates and they allow me to enjoy some what of a normal life. Makes me sick how everyone points at prescribed opiates when there not what's killing people fentynal is what's doing it.
    Fake pills made with fentynal is the problem. If you take the prescription how your supposed you will be 100% ok. When you start abusing the opiates snorting or injecting or taking more then your supposed well then your abusing the prescription and that's not the drugs fault.

    Oxycodone is a miracle medicine to folks with chronic pain it's not a bad drug at all if used properly and responsibly.

  • Onion

    Lots of ppl should be addicted and sucked up into drug life. It is their turn to suffer their own legacy. Your fathers have driven other cultures to ruin and now it is your turn. If you did not think it would hityou sooner or later you R just another stupid fool with white privilege.

  • Onion

    No body ever went to jail when the Bush cartel and the Reagan presidency brought crack cocaine into the black communities to fund their wars of aggression. America is a bigoted hypocrite. Fentanyl is pay back and Karma. Chicken come home to roost like the man said. ROTFLMAO

  • Onion

    BTW these drugs R getting to the right people. If you think otherwise you R just another moron it is doing it's intended use. Government has to murder off lots more people. The plague has just began it is just the beginning. The audience is laughing at other ppls pain and they R a cross section of the stupidity and morality of most americans. Laugh and whoop it up until it your relatives who R addicted and dead from overdose. Audience thinks this is funny fun time a new style cartoon show.

  • vincent vangogh

    I'm glad i live in the Netherlands, with strict regulations on pharmaceutical companies  protecting consumers! This barbaric and downright criminal Healthcare for profit system in the US is killing it's own citizens! Come on, America, you can do better! Time for change!

  • melissa saint

    Hasan,
    When I was a little girl long ago, before this crisis,
    someone I loved very much
    unintentionally ODed on heroin and died. I also have spent all these years following the trends in opioids.
    I am so sorry that you also know that pain. Thank you for doing this.

  • Kareem Mcgee

    A pill stronger than Fentynal ?! There’s a conspiracy theory that some people in powerful positions want to “balance” the population…I try not to feed into these things, but it’s hard when so many people are dying from opioids. So many that we’re experiencing an epidemic, and someone creates a new drug that’s even stronger?! What could logically be the reason? Fentynal hasn’t been around very long and your telling me we already need something stronger???!!! WTF is happening to this world?

  • LordBane

    The history of FENTANYL, according to to this presenter, is only partially true, VERY, VERY, VERY partially true. It was created as a pain-killer, yes, but NEVER for the reasons, OR the people, he says. He is completely wrong on this one. The history is a bit more complex, and legal distribution of FENTANYL is 100% controlled by the US government. That is one of the reasons why sales and ingestion of the "usual" drugs have been exploding in use and abuse, i.e. coke, heroin, meth, etc. If anyone wants to know I will write a (hopefully brief) history of the origins and growth of FENTANYL.
    Yes, it is the most powerful, and addictive, pain-killer ever created. Think of it as artificial heroin, only MANY, MANY, MANY times more powerful. and unlike heroin, it does not waste you away, as long as you can get the next dose. Yes, a very small amount of FENTANYL WILL absolutely KILL you !

  • jack sprat

    My gp prescribed fentanyl patches for me for chronic neck pain. I asked him to take me off of it on three separate occasions. Yet, he still insisted it was the best thing for me because it gave me three days of a sustained release. He had me on percs on top of that for "breakout pain." This went on for four or five years. Then, one day I get a certified letter informing me that he was dropping me as a patient because of poor communication between the two of us. Complete BS, of course. He had me on 130 milligrams of opioid A DAY. Not a week. Not a month. A DAY. I think that the federal government came down on him, or he was scared they would come down on him.

    In the end it worked out because I was forced to go to a pain management clinic. I lucked out and started going to a pain management doctor that actually say down with me, laid out a plan to cut down on my neck pain through less meds, and discussed procedures that could do wonders. I am now on 15 milligrams of opioid a day. He performed ablations to the nerves that are causing the pain.

    I lucked out. I eventually ended up seeing a doctor that cares about his patients and takes the time to discuss options, not just throwing pain killers at the problem. Just throwing excessive amounts of pain killers at the problem is lazy care giving.

  • Mechanical Junkie

    Just here to see if Hasan calls out police lying about oding from airborne fentanyl.

    Ok lot to unpack here. I was a heroin addict for about 3 years, with fent getting big in my area for the last 1 year. You can generally tell the difference ime. Fent cut dope will be way lighter, dryer, and finer powder because it’s mostly cut. It’s not really safe because you still don’t know strength, but you’ll know to watch out at least. Fent also feels a bit different from dope it’s sleepier.

    Secondly Costco store policy is to allow unlimited samples you’re just fucking lying now.

  • TaaDaahh

    4:05 that moment when Hasan goes from joking around to being dead serious about a dead serious subject. Man I love this guy, you gotta give cred to him for his way of speaking, he really know what to say, when to say it and how to say it at the right time. He really makes an impact on you when he speaks

  • Satoshi Matrix

    As a Canadian I can confirm, America needs to get rid of the penny. It's great. You never need to count change to the penny, 99% of stores allow you to count down (so if something costs 54 cents, giving 50 cents is fine) and best of all, you don't need to carry pennies in your wallet. Ever.

    You know how the transition went?
    Monday: We use pennies
    Tuesday: We don't.

  • Beloved Woman

    There's a new study about pain pills and addiction out that basically says actual pain pills are not to blame for addiction rates.
    That addiction rates and pill abuse has been falling each year and 30% of pill abuse was related to overdose death and 68% of those deaths involved other medications or illegal drugs. So yes Fentanyl is a really powerful drug, yes pills were being over prescribed but addiction rates didn't change. If anyone wants to read the article it's cited below. You can also read the CDC data at cdc.gov

    https://reason.com/2019/08/21/new-survey-data-confirm-that-opioid-deaths-do-not-correlate-with-pain-pill-abuse-or-addiction-rates/

  • Cynically Hopeful

    Here's what scares me about all this. Opioid prescriptions have been on the decline since 2011, and yet Fentanyl deaths have been on the rise that whole time, thanks to it being added to the heroin supply.

    But now chronic pain patients are suffering because of this. People all over the US are being rapidly stepped down or cut off from their pain medications because doctors are over-correcting and afraid. Or, because laws have been passed in some states limiting the dose allowance. These are patients that have been stable on their medications and doses for years, who have always been compliant with their doctors' conditions, and who were able to have at least some quality of life.

    Saying "Well, back and neck pain? Nope – fentanyl's only for cancer patients" does a disservice to those that have the kind of pain that cancer patients can get. It also doesn't take into account a patient's genetic profile (there's a genetic test now to see what pain medications you can process correctly), pain needs, other medication interactions or side-effects.

    I'm not talking about achy backs and pulled muscles. I'm talking about the kind of pain that makes you want to kill yourself – the kind that never stops. And unfortunately, while we have a lot of tools in our medical toolboxes, not everything can be fixed.

    I would love – LOVE – if we had better options that didn't involve physical tolerance and the risk of drug-seeking addiction. I would LOVE to not be under a microscope because of a medication I need. Not Fentanyl – something else. But I used to be on it, and was on the same dose (patch) for about 8 years. If used correctly, and prescribed by a good pain management doctor (this is key), it can be a life-saver.

    I'm not over-exaggerating when I say that I'd be dead by my own hand without proper pain control. I'm not alone in this. So please don't dismiss us folks that don't have cancer, but still live with incurable conditions that make life hell.

  • dawgsmycopilot

    My problem is everyone seems to be perfectly fine with what's happening to chronic pain patients in this country right now. Do you know how much the suicide rates have climbed? Doctors are snatching us off needed, not abused, properly used and prescribed pain meds with no warning and no leveling down of dosages. (btw, if it's so universally addictive how is just cutting people off safe- but that's what they are doing.) Some of us have the money and travel ability for the pain clinics, some don't. I'd have to spend 300 dollars out of pocket every month to go. So I've gone from being employable and productive to a depressed ball of pain. And for what? What has it solved? People can still get what they want on the black market, all you've done is get it out of the hands of people like me who were doing it legally and for injuries and conditions that had no other solution.

  • Paige Connelly

    We don't have this problem in the UK because we have a national healthcare system so the drugs prescribed by doctors are strictly regulated.

  • Tsering Paldon

    I am glad to come by your videos. My family doc randomly prescribed scary psycho medical without proper study. I got the medicine in trust to the doc and did goggle search on this medication and realized that it is something totally damaging to me. I
    Thank god I didn’t take it. Doctors should be very careful of what they are providing to their patients. I just told a bit of my story and half of the story she guessed and prescribed it. I sincerely urge doctors to be careful of what they are prescribing.

  • Toby Royson

    Yeh as if this drug isn't bad enough and like the bodies aren't already piling up wholesale now it "hey we got something even stronger coming out!!"

    sometimes you have to look back at the human race and watch how dumb we are as a species.

  • rudra mahadev

    American and their fixations with drugs is remarkable
    They have to be in some sort of prescription or supplements throughout their life
    Won't eat anything other than proceed food

  • Lew Archer 1949

    Every time some shithead “Libertarian” comes up and starts bleating about the glories of Privatization and deregulation, I want to smash their face with a brick.

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