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Fentanyl, Inc.

How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic
Written by: Ben Westhoff
Narrated by: Alex Boyles
Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A deeply human story, Fentanyl, Inc. is the first deep-dive investigation of a hazardous and illicit industry that has created a worldwide epidemic, ravaging communities and overwhelming and confounding government agencies that are challenged to combat it. 

“A whole new crop of chemicals is radically changing the recreational drug landscape,” writes Ben Westhoff. “These are known as Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and they include replacements for known drugs like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana. They are synthetic, made in a laboratory, and are much more potent than traditional drugs” - and all-too-often tragically lethal.

Drugs like fentanyl, K2, and Spice - and those with arcane acronyms like 25i-NBOMe - were all originally conceived in legitimate laboratories for proper scientific and medicinal purposes. Their formulas were then hijacked and manufactured by rogue chemists, largely in China, who change their molecular structures to stay ahead of the law, making the drugs’ effects impossible to predict. Westhoff has infiltrated this shadowy world. He tracks down the little-known scientists who invented these drugs and inadvertently killed thousands, as well as a mysterious drug baron who turned the law upside down in his home country of New Zealand.

Westhoff visits the shady factories in China from which these drugs emanate, providing startling and original reporting on how China’s vast chemical industry operates, and how the Chinese government subsidizes it. Poignantly, he chronicles the lives of addicted users and dealers, families of victims, law enforcement officers, and underground drug awareness organizers in the US and Europe. Together they represent the shocking and riveting full anatomy of a calamity we are just beginning to understand. From its depths, as Westhoff relates, are emerging new strategies that may provide essential long-term solutions to the drug crisis that has affected so many.

©2019 Ben Westhoff (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Fentanyl is a huge Issue.

Fentanyl is a criminal drug that is being peddle throughout the United States and Canada by drug pushers from China and elsewhere. The Chinese are looking to make $ They don't care about Ethics, Morals and the safety of our citizens. There has to be more awareness about the seriousness of this drug problem. Very well written and researched by the Author.

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Finally an easy historical arch on the designer drug surge hitting the world

The author does an excellent job describing the personal stories of users, traffickers and makers as well as those trying to address the health impacts in a manner that reads like a spy novel even going to China to see the underground labs where NPS are made including Fentanyl analogues. The audio is clear and easy to listen.

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  • Jesusa H. Chua
  • 2019-09-09

A must read

Just that. A good and informative read.
I am a health professional and I learned much.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Monker45
  • 2019-11-21

Issue with sound

It's annoying that when the narrator starts a new sentence after a pause, the first word or 2 are muted out. I hope I can correct this and it's not an issue with ALL the audio books. I'm a new user.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Drake
  • 2019-11-20

The Best Current Book On the Drug Epidemic

I’m a physician interested in understanding why over 70,000 Americans died of drug overdose as last year. If you think you understand the subject you’re probably wrong. This book gives excellent insight into what is happening, why it is happening and practical suggestions for ending this largely preventable epidemic. This should be essential reading for drug users – – it may save their lives! It should also be widely read by legislators and law-enforcement officials. We won’t solve this problem without understanding it in all its complexity and using proven solutions that are successful in many other places around the world.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Pillsbury
  • 2020-01-25

Absolutely intriguing

I absolutely loved this book. If you are interested in drugs, psychopharmacology, international relations, the dark web, and history then this book is right up your alley.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2019-10-26

frightening

Incredible information everyone should be aware of and heed the warnings. Awareness can save lives.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Becky
  • 2019-10-07

Very informative!

So well written and deeply informative. I work as a nurse in the field of addiction and mental health. This book helped me gain so much more knowledge about the history, making and evolution of Fentanyl.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tintin
  • 2020-05-27

Bigger than Fentanyl

This is a thorough survey of the new opiates, most prominently fentanyl, but also fentaltl precursors and derivatives. Many of these are orders of magnitude more powerful than heroin, are often mixed with other drugs, killing people who didn't even know they'd taken it.

The author covers many angles --users, addicts, enforcement, clinics, legislators, foreign governments/ policies/ subsidies/ protections, distribution and trade, corruption, cartels and more. It's all well researched; his interviews and often undercover investigations are as thrilling as they are revealing.

The book culminates in what amounts to recommendation for decriminalization and treatment centers, testing of drugs on street, publishing the results, rather that "just say no" and waging a war on drugs and stigmitization of users. It's been tried plenty, and seems to work.

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  • KB
  • 2020-05-26

Overall Excellent

Overall an excellent and informative book. Unfortunately, the author lost his way towards the end by not fully exploring the many arguments against supervised injection sites.

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  • Richard
  • 2020-05-13

Great Resource!

This is a great resource for those seeking to understand emerging trends on illegal drug use. Provides professional grade research combined with many interesting case studies and interviews.



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  • omarjamal
  • 2020-04-23

Amazing information

This book contains amazing information about our day and age of drug use and the failure of the war on drugs.