Drug Trends Seeing Dip in Opioid Abuse, Rise in Cocaine

The trend in opioid abuse seems to be on a recent downward slide across the country, but that is not alleviating concerns among law enforcement and lawmakers. The epidemic has impacted communities around the nation, state, and even right here close to home. 

Fond du Lac County Deputy Andrea Dowland says the opiates people are using to get high are more powerful than painkillers administered after some surgeries. She tells us “you have heroin, which is about 3-5 times stronger than morphine. Then you have fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than morphine. And then you have carfentanil, which is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. It’s crazy, and then people are putting it in their body on top of it all.”

Carfentanil is often used as an elephant tranquilizer – and a dose the size of a grain of salt could cause a fatal overdose. 

Many of these harder drugs also overshadow the reality and prominence of marijuana as well. And despite the debate over whether it should be banned or not, Deputy Andrea Dowland says marijuana is still illegal in Wisconsin – and more potent than ever. Dowland points out that “big deal, it’s marijuana is what people tend to say. The THC level in
it, which the THC is the psychoactive drug in it that gives you the high,
thirty or forty year ago was only at about ten-percent in marijuana. Now it’s
at 54-percent. Which is huge, that’s a big increase. So marijuana is becoming
more dangerous.”

Recent drug trends have also seen another rise in the spread of cocaine across the country and Wisconsin.