MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Just as the DEA released a nationwide alert for fentanyl last year, a new synthetic drug was getting popular. And dealers were also lacing it with heroin.
Adolphe Joseph was arrested with fentanyl and W-18, the next strongest high. Authorities can't keep up with chemists. There aren't any tests to detect it
W-18 is 100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Prosecutors charged Joseph for possession of fentanyl, but couldn't file charges for the W-18, which hasn't been classified as an illegal substance yet.
Mariana R., an admitted drug user who lives in Miami's Wynwood, said she and her friends were experimenting with U-47700, which is considered a narcotic in Sweden and is similar to AH-7921, another synthetic.
The drug is about $40 a gram and it is stronger than morphine, but weaker than fentanyl and W-18. She said she reads other users' "research" posts on Reddit, a social networking service.
"I know it burns a little, so I don't think I will be doing it much," Rojas said. "With bitcoins [digital currency], I can get what ever I want to my friend's art studio, faster than I can get vitamins."