ROBERT PRICE: You came so close, and then fentanyl | Columnists – Bakersfield, California

Without them, the path out of addiction would have been pretty steep. The mountains were high enough and the danger along the way was more than enough. Then that.

Chemistry, greed and deception have teamed up to bring fentanyl to the streets of the world. It is not a gift of medicine to alleviate suffering in hospitals and battlefields, but its cousin, a less carefully prescribed version, with the ability to catch and kill as before.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin and is used literally across the illicit drug market today to transport legal heroin by air and commercial products like oxycodone and percoset. Often acts like a pain reliever. Nowadays, manufacturing costs are so low that profit margins are so high and satisfaction levels are so high that they are even outside the chemical range of cocaine, stimulants, and fake Xanax.

Fentanyl is a trap that Heather Lynn Butterworth caught while trying to break out of a ten year deep hole. Perhaps she was fooling herself and others that she was really trying to escape. It may have been true, but it reached a different high in the old days. Was there. Perhaps it was both, as is common with severe drug addiction.

In any case, on May 21, 2021, 30-year-old Heather Lynn Butterworth, who graduated from Centennial High School in Bakersfield, died of a fentanyl overdose. Her body was found trapped in the bathroom of an apartment in The Third Tradition Sober Living, a campus of about 50 simple single-shift units that she has lived in for the past 70 days. She has now made enough progress to bring a light of hope in her family, boyfriend Dan, caretaker, etc., and it is very possible that she saved the life of another addict along the way. He is addicted and makes fun of him or defeats him before making a decision.

At least heroin and most other drugs offer some predictability. A few. However, illegally produced fentanyl is Russian roulette. This substance is so powerful that the mixture of active ingredient and cutting material can only be reduced by a few micrograms in order to achieve the desired high that can lead to death. it can.

And an uneven and miscalculated batch, perhaps combined with lower tolerance levels caused by multiple days of drinking, could have killed Heather.

The Butterworth family doesn’t look like the strain that fentanyl users make – whatever that means. The Butterworths (parents Brian and Keer and their three grown daughters) are intelligent. You are a solid middle class, athletic and attractive person. The walls are adorned with totems of Faith and Patriotism. There are a number of photographs near the front door that underscore these values. Brian is incredibly young, serious and smiles in his crisp aviator uniform. His right daughter Brenna, now 25, also prides itself on standing upright and wearing Navy sailor blue. They are 25 years old, but here they are framed side by side on the front wall of the house. The two are 20 years old.

Family photos and souvenirs are everywhere in the house, from the hallways to the bedrooms. Military products and souvenirs, flags and flag motifs, water ski fathers, children in different phases of life. In the living room there was a large photo of Heather, Emmy, Brenna, Brian and Keer leaning against a wooden railing, all wearing blue jeans and holding hands. A bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup is in a dark cabin a few feet from the framed photo.

No family is perfect, but the Butterworth family can be worth considering. Still, they were here.

Brian Butterworth said that on Friday, the day before his daughter’s memorial service. “Right? Roaming the streets. They’re filthy, nasty, ugly, mean, and messed up in their heads.”

One of his first lessons about this stereotyping mistake was a group counseling program that he attended with Kiel and Heather a few years ago.

“We met this young woman and this older woman at all these meetings and I remember thinking, no, I was completely reluctant. She was always happy with my addicted grandmother. Only my grandson gave it to me.

“Well, yes, anyone can become addicted to drugs. I was completely ignorant because I thought I could always choose a drug addict from the crowd. “

And if anyone can be a drug addict, any family can raise them, even a clean kitchen, a playful border collie, or a family with a new grandpa.

Heather’s problems began shortly after graduating from high school. Drinking problems and drunk driving at the age of 20. She smoked a pot too, but it got darker about five years ago. Brian and Kea took it as best they could before kicking them out. There was all the typical quarrels and anger, dishonesty and resentment, riddled with periods of calm and hope. Heather went to rehab 13 times, counted from her parents.

One of the places that gave us hope and comfort was Third Tradition, a quiet gated community tucked away on a quiet, almost hidden cul-de-sac near Real Road and Bell Terrace. Like many others, former addicted executive director Mark Smith had high expectations for Heather.

“She had an infectious smile,” said Smith. “I’ve been doing this for 14 years and I can say that your will to change and be something was there. She always wanted to be more. “

Well, he’s been particularly encouraged in the past few weeks. Not only did she take responsibility for herself, but she also became a role model and leader for the other 25 or so other women who lived at the facility. When an addict calls Third Tradition and says she’s sick and stuck in Tehachapi, Heather jumps in a car and drives 45 miles east, taking her off the road, and taking her with her. Back to the third tradition. Heather, a young woman later said to Kear, saved her life.

“Your process has always been smooth, repeat, smooth, repeat,” said Kea Butterworth. “That most recent recovery was the longest year and a half with her. She was doing very well. There’s no real reason for it, so it shows how crazy the addiction is. It works fine. I had a car, I had a dog, I had a job and finally all you had to do. Then that. “

How Heather would spend the day locking himself in the bathroom, placing a fake percoset on a small square of aluminum foil, heating it with a lighter and placing a cut straw on his lips and not allowing it. It is impossible to know if it was like that. Steam enters their mouths because of the scorched tar snake trails that the flames leave and hunt the dragon they name.

“There’s evidence that (users) can know where to start taking the drug, but they can’t even get to the end,” said Brian. The boom is over. “

“She didn’t finish this quarter,” said Kier.

It’s impossible to know if it’s just a passing weakness the next time she’s tempted to be pushed away, or if Heather has always been trapped in this cycle of addiction and recovery, addiction and recovery. For sure. Fentanyl is a highly profitable, terribly addicting, relentless and relentless active ingredient in a new generation of illegal opioids.

When a friend of Brian’s firefighter Brian recently shared the increase in phone calls with a fentanyl overdose, they said, “I wish I could get back to heroin.”

That’s why the Butterworths join the family choir that has been shaken by the Sinaloa cartel’s most devastating exports to date. Fentanyl is here and its tragic losses are increasing rather than slowing down.

ROBERT PRICE: You came so close, and then fentanyl | Columnist Source Link ROBERT PRICE: You came so close, and then Fentanyl | Columnists

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