Skip to content
Home » Blog » The Deadly Duo: Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana and Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

The Deadly Duo: Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana and Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

  • by
Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana and Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

In a world where drug addiction has become an alarming epidemic, it is essential to shed light on the evolving drug use landscape. The emergence of fentanyl, a potent and highly dangerous synthetic opioid, has added a frightening twist to an already complex web of addiction. Moreover, recent reports indicate that drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, are increasingly laced with fentanyl. Marijuana has a significantly increased potency, and fentanyl lacings (whether done intentionally or accidentally by drug dealers) can exacerbate side effects. This compounds the risks and challenges faced by individuals battling addiction. In this article, we delve into the treacherous territory of fentanyl-laced marijuana and fentanyl-laced cocaine, exploring the addictive grip they hold and the urgent need for comprehensive treatment solutions.

The Changing Face of Addiction

Fentanyl, a formidable drug, has infiltrated illicit drug markets worldwide, often without the user’s knowledge. There has been an increase in instances in Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, and New York where individuals reported believing they were only smoking marijuana, but drug tests have indicated the presence of fentanyl as well. Just .2 milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal, and when other, less-potent drugs (such as marijuana) are laced with it, they become deadly too. 

Moreover, forensic chemists found the presence of fentanyl and various related substances in more than 180 samples of cocaine. Individuals who intermittently use stimulants, like cocaine, have low tolerances for powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Regular cocaine users who have not built up a tolerance for opioids are at higher risk for overdosing from a small amount of fentanyl. Additionally, fentanyl is highly addictive, and it is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.  Thus, combining fentanyl with marijuana and cocaine amplifies the addictive potential, leading users down an even darker path.

Today, lacing other drugs, including oxycodone and counterfeit prescription painkillers, with fentanyl is widespread among drug dealers due to fentanyl’s relatively inexpensive nature. It’s essential to acknowledge how this can amplify the side effects of prescribed drugs and significantly raise the risk of overdose.

How does Fentanyl-laced Marijuana and Cocaine Affect the Brain?

Fentanyl-laced marijuana and cocaine possess an undeniable and relentless hold over both the mind and body. Their impact is far-reaching, extending to the intricate workings of the brain’s reward system. By hijacking this system, they reconfigure it so that it becomes fixated on obtaining and consuming repeated doses of the substance.

Adding fentanyl to marijuana and cocaine helps expand the opioid market, and users typically become addicted more quickly.  It also acts as a depressant on your central nervous system and attaches to opioid receptors in the brain to reduce feelings of pain when first ingested. Additionally, fentanyl produces huge amounts of dopamine. However, the more your brain encounters fentanyl, the less likely it is to produce large amounts of dopamine – making it increasingly difficult for users to feel normal without the drug.

Heightened Dangers and Risks

While marijuana and cocaine addiction carry their own risks, introducing fentanyl increases the danger. Even minuscule amounts of fentanyl can induce a fatal overdose. The unpredictable nature of drug lacing increases the likelihood of accidental overdose, with users often unaware of the presence of fentanyl in their substances. This lethal combination has resulted in a surge of fatalities across the globe.

In fact, fentanyl is the reason behind most overdose deaths in the US. The number of fatalities from drug overdose in the US involving fentanyl reached nearly 70,000 in 2021. This represents a nearly four-fold increase over five years. By 2021, approximately two-thirds of all overdose fatalities were linked to this powerful synthetic opioid.

Cocaine and Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana: The Vicious Cycle

For those already struggling with marijuana or cocaine addiction, adding fentanyl exacerbates an already difficult battle. What is perhaps most troubling is that most drug users who ingest fentanyl have no idea that they are introducing the drug into to their system. What begins as an attempt to chase euphoria with a “known” drug ultimately can lead to a dangerous path where the next use may be their last.

Struggling with addiction-related challenges can be dark and lonely. At Encore Outpatient Services in Arlington, we are committed to providing you with the right tools and support to embark on your journey toward recovery. We offer various treatment options tailored to your needs, ensuring we find the right solution to help you succeed. Take the important step of reaching out to us today to discover more about our addiction treatment programs and how our assistance can make a difference in your life.

Suffering is hard

Getting help shouldn’t be.

Reach Out
// Call Now ButtonCall now (703) 436-8158