New information that’s surfaced about Demi Lovato’s overdose revealed that she supposedly smoked OxyContin off tinfoil. The drugs, which she bought from a dealer, happened to be laced with fentanyl. Addiction specialist and clinical psychologist Dr. Kevin Gilliland said that if the reports are true, Demi is “very lucky to be alive,” according to Hollywood Life. They went on to describe the incredibly dangerous nature of fentanyl, which is 80 to 100 times more potent than heroin or morphine.
“If you relapse on opioids and you accidentally relapse with something that has Fentanyl in it then you will most likely die.”
The drug fentanyl is super potent, and it’s been one of the main contributors to the nation’s alarming opioid epidemic. Gilliland said that “It’s main use is a stage 4 cancer pain killing drug that isn’t meant to be used without a doctor’s supervision. It can cause can cause respiratory distress, which could have been one of the reasons that Demi fell unconscious.” And indeed, fentanyl was developed in the 1960s as a painkiller and anesthetic for surgery.
Gilliland also warned that one of the things that makes opioids so dangerous is that users usually don’t know if the drugs are pure or not. Jessica Hulsey Nickel, CEO of the Addiction Policy Forum, noted that “We are finding fentanyl in everything from painkillers, heroin, cocaine — you name it.. Even benzodiazepines that are counterfeit and coming off the street.”
So how do drugs become laced with fentanyl? One possibility is that the drugs are being laced on purpose with the potent substance because it’s cheap. Also, it could be an accident due to cross-contamination, reported the Rolling Stone.
Fentanyl is also super dangerous, because it’s possible to overdose from using it for the first time. The substance has proved to be more deadly than prescription painkillers, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The drug dealer that sold Demi her tainted batch of OxyContin was supposedly her dealer since April. But they took off from the scene when they realized that Demi had fallen unconscious, detailed TMZ. Demi supposedly texted them to come by her house at 4:00 a.m. after partying all night at WeHo.
It also appears that the drug dealer “had a bad habit of buying dirty drugs from Mexico.” This is quite likely, considering that fentanyl is smuggled into the U.S. via China and Mexico, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.