By Ryan Gabrielson
Heroin overdoses killed thousands nationwide last year — some 75 over just three days in Chicago. The central culprit in many of the fatalities was fentanyl, a lethally powerful compound often added to drugs sold on the street.
As a result, health officials have called fentanyl a new public menace, and police forces across the U.S. are searching their neighborhoods for the dangerous painkiller.
Drug test manufacturer repackages old, error-prone chemical formula as cutting-edge product
Sirchie, a leading law enforcement equipment supplier, has found its own way to respond to the crisis. The company now markets an addition to its popular line of drug field tests, NARK II. Police officers use the inexpensive chemical kits to make drug arrests by the thousands every year.
The new kits, Sirchie claims, are “designed” so that police can quickly identify fentanyl, and lock up those selling or buying it, potentially rescuing heroin and pain pill users from overdose.
The company has been aggressive in expressing its enthusiasm for the product.
“HOT” is stamped on images of the fentanyl tests found on Sirchie’s website.
“NEW!” Sirchie asserted on the cover of one of its catalogues, which served as a full-page advertisement for the “New Fentanyl Reagent Available Now!” Sirchie described the kit as an “industry first.”
The only problem is that there is nothing new about the fentanyl kit except its name. [Read more…]