Postcard from San Francisco: A controversial war on fentanyl

The synthetic opioid is killing dozens monthly, but authorities and health campaigners can’t agree how to stem the deadly epidemic, writes Mallory Moench.

The World Today
3 minute READ

Kenneth Ray Russworm says he regrets ever taking fentanyl. The San Francisco native tried the synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin while living in a homeless shelter after his mother died last year and hasn’t been able to stop using it since.

‘I ain’t never had a type of drug that had such a hold on me,’ Russworm, 43, a father of seven, said, crouching beside tents that serve as homes. In his hand he holds the tinfoil he uses to smoke the drug that has taken over his life.

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