For years heroin was known as Australia’s most dangerous drug.
Cheap, accessible and highly addictive, the opioid destroyed countless lives across the nation.
But now, to the surprise of many, Australia is in the grips of another drug crisis – this time with a pain killer 50 times stronger than heroin.
And frighteningly, it’s perfectly legal.
Tonight on 60 Minutes, reporter Tom Steinfort takes part in an undercover investigation that reveals where and how kids are accessing the deadly drug.
Prescription painkiller Fentanyl was created almost 60 years ago for the use in management of chronic cancer pain.
More recently though, it is being melted down and injected recreationally resulting in more than 500 deaths of everyday Australians overtaken by the crippling addiction.
As Steinfort reveals, most addicts alarmingly are gaining access to Fentanyl through their local doctor.
Steinfort also speaks with a heartbroken mother whose footballer son became so addicted to the prescribed painkiller, it slowly but surely destroyed his life.
“(Fentanyl) kills people. It killed my son. It kills people all the time,” Sandra McGivern said.
Ms McGivern’s talented footballer son Angus was prescribed heavy painkillers to treat a brutal back injury he sustained on the field.
An opioid dependency quickly developed, so Sandra put him into rehab.
Of all places, tragically that’s where he discovered Fentanyl.
“So by going to rehab, by trying to help him get clean, he actually learnt how to become an even worse drug addict?” Steinfort asked.
“Totally, exactly,” Ms McGivern said.
Sandra’s life was turned on its head as her son began doctor-shopping and getting his hands on Fentanyl with ease.
Within a few months her darkest nightmare came true – Angus tragically overdosed.
“It’s agonising,” she told Steinfort.
“There’s no way in the world he wanted to die.”
As part of his investigation, Steinfort travels to the Gold Coast just how easy it is to go doctor-shopping for Fentanyl.
The results are guaranteed to shock parents around the country, and Sandra hopes they too will shock GPs and stop them prescribing the drug.
Originally Published by 9News, continue reading here.