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July 4, 2017

Overdose: Man Dies After Vaping Fentanyl

A Michigan man died of a fentanyl overdose last week after vaping the opioid mixed into e-liquid.

Police told MLive that the man had bought the drug online and mixed it into e-liquid himself. After taking a “number of hits” on the vaping device, he passed out. Police arrived while EMS were attempting to revive him, but he never regained consciousness.

The death happened just outside Alpena, MI, a small city on Lake Huron, about 250 miles north of Detroit. The opioid epidemic has reached into every part of the country, even quiet resort areas like northern Michigan.

Prescription-strength fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

There have been people buying and selling drugs on the dark web for years, and apparently some are sold intentionally for users to vape. Michelle Peace, a researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University, explained the practice to New Scientist last year. “The users believe they are experiencing better drug delivery,” says Peace. “Part of our work has been to understand why they think that is the case.”

Inhaling some substances can have a more powerful effect than ingesting or injecting. Peace says that vaping might make “already dangerous drugs even more dangerous.”

Fentanyl has killed thousands


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is used as a painkiller. In recent years, illegal production in Mexico and China has increased the drug’s availability, and it is often sold to heroin users who underestimate the drug’s strength.

Fentanyl has been responsible for thousands of fatal overdoses in recent years, and other opioids have added thousands more. Prescription-strength fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanil, a variant on fentanyl used as a sedative for large animals, is even more dangerous — at least 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. That too has found its way into the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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William Miller
William Miller
4 years ago

So I guess a bunch of idiots trying to vape this crap throws all the blame on vaping right? If vaping is used as a smoking cessation device instead of a better way to “get high” it really does work. I was able to put an end to a 56 year smoking habit thanks to vaping. I’ll never go back to cigarettes and I’ll never give up vaping. I also enjoy flavors and I’m 64 years old which hardly makes me a “kid”.

4 years ago
Reply to  William Miller

To fair I do not vape because I needed to give up smoking. I vape cannabidiol which has no nicotine and no THC so you can not get high from it. It is legal and helps with some chronic health complaints I have. My mother who has MS especially has had some relief. So not everyone uses it give up smoking or get high! Well done on giving up smoking.

Geo Thermal
Geo Thermal
4 years ago
Reply to  William Miller

Rest assured the headlines will read, “Man Killed By Vaping” and you’ll have to read the fine print to get the details. They will pass up no opportunity to demonize vaping.

9 days ago

I’m sorry for “throwing blame onto you,” but please don’t call me an idiot. I admit my English SAT score wasn’t the greatest but I got a perfect in math and had universities coming to me offering me “VIP” admission without ever applying to them. I’m just like you, I’m trying to live the best life I can and provide for my family. Yes I made mistakes when I was younger and got addicted to opiates but vaping them let’s me keep my job as a fire fighter. It let’s me easily administrating a dose that prevents me from going… Read more »

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