Friday September 22, 2017

Fentanyl users talk addiction, overdose and how friends and family are 'dropping like flies'

A man walks past a mural by street artist Smokey D. about the fentanyl and opioid overdose crisis in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday December 22, 2016.

A man walks past a mural by street artist Smokey D. about the fentanyl and opioid overdose crisis in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday December 22, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Listen 3:52

Drug users at pop-up safe injection site run by volunteers in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside spoke to Out in the Open about their experiences with fentanyl. 

Here are a few of the things we heard:

► "You get used to it, I mean, it's very potent...anything less than that, it's just weaker. So now, you want that."

► "I've been using intravenous heroin or opioids of one sort for over 33 years, and I've never overdosed until this last year. I've dropped twice."

► "I did a line, it didn't take me more than 30 seconds of just feeling a little bit nauseous and weird and I sat down and started to talk to somebody, I was trying to focus hard on him because I knew that it wasn't right. Within a minute, I was down on the ground."

► "Fentanyl, it takes the pain away. You know, it makes you feel good. You're feeling great, and before you know it, you're addicted to the damn thing."

► "Friends and family are dropping like flies and there's no end in sight, as far as I can see."