The origin of W-18, a new street drug which is said to be ten thousand times more potent than morphine, is similar to that of other drugs. It was initially developed in a Canadian laboratory for the purpose of alleviating pain in a manner that was less addictive, but has evolved into a terrifying substance that the original creators likely never envisioned.
strong>What is W-18?
W-18 is an opioid which is synthetic. It was originally developed at the University of Alberta and during the 1980s was patented within Canada and the United States. Despite the extraordinary potency of this substance, no pharmaceutical company would accept it, so the recipe was placed on a shelf and despite being mentioned in a few medical journals it wasn’t utilized.
It was eventually discovered by a Chinese chemist, who realized the drug could be used for a high which was both legal and cheap. This is how the drug managed to find its way onto the streets of both the U.S. and Canada, and it is vastly more powerful than even fentanyl. Although the drug has not yet been declared illegal in the U.S., law enforcement in Canada have already arrested and convicted a number of people selling it, who often get the drug directly from China itself.
W-18 Has Additional Properties That Have Authorities Concerned
In addition to its incredible potency, W-18 has other properties which make authorities very nervous. As of this writing no tests have been developed to detect this drug either in an individual’s urine or blood, which means it is very challenging for physicians to assist someone who is overdosing, since they wouldn’t be able to determine the nature of the substance. The drug has been tested on mice in laboratories, but not humans.
However, many experts believe that should W-18 use continue to expand, the authorities will see many deaths resulting from it. The Drug Enforcement Agency hasn’t issued any formal notifications regarding the dangers of W-18, but a representative of the organization did report that it is not yet clear how the drug is being moved into the United States and that it is also possible that the drug is being cut with both cocaine and heroin.
W-18’s Association With Other Street Drugs
The advent of W-18 is particularly troublesome because it comes at a time when the United States is already battling a heroin epidemic. If the drug is being cut with heroin the outcome could potentially be disastrous. W-18 is also yet another substance which has been connected to China, whose role in the international drug trade has increased considerably in recent years. China has taken steps to ban over 100 synthetic substances, which includes flakka that briefly caused havoc in the streets of South Florida. However, thanks to their efforts the drug has largely disappeared. Unfortunately, the arrival of W-18 seems to serve as a replacement and highlights the ongoing battle that has become the drug trade, and unlike other traditional drugs, which are sold in quarter or half ounce, these new synthetic substances are sold in micrograms.