Having caused a wave of overdoses among addicts since May, the new synthetic heroin Made in China has this week at long last been added to he banned substances list in Estonia.
«As of Monday, possessing furanylfentanyl is a criminal offence at last,» said Northern prefecture drug police chief Leho Laur. Up to now, all they could do was confiscating the substance – if possible – and take it for expert analysis.
Dealing with the powder was not forbidden while it caused major problems, at times five to ten overdoses in Tallinn within 24 hours.
In most cases the victims were brought back to life by ambulance crews while four cases proved fatal.
Mr Laur said the addicts are well aware of how hazardous the substance is, and are trying to avoid it if at all possible – having no knowledge of the right doses.
While the new substance is white as snow, to fool the careful it was mixed with other substances by dealers – such as the yellowish amphetamine. That gave the impression of the old and familiar brownish fentanyl.
Meanwhile, the grapevine says a new problem is on the horizon.
«We hear the next fentanyl variety is entering the market,» said Mr Laur.
Unlike cannabinoids and other main drug groups, fentanyles are not automatically in Estonian drugs list. Therefore, with every new version the entry into list must be applied anew. Until in the list, dealing is legal.