• Sweden edition
 
Addicts die after smoking pain-relief patches

Addicts die after smoking pain-relief patches

Published: 18 Jan 2012 11:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Jan 2012 11:12 GMT+01:00

After several deaths in southern Sweden have been linked to the use the drug fentanyl, a pain-relief patch meant for cancer patients, local police are now calling it the “most serious drug problem” in the area.

”This is not acceptable. We have to put a stop to these deaths considering the fact that these patches are in circulation. All of society has to lend a hand,” said Ingmar Nilja of the Halland police to Sveriges Radio (SR).

The patches are manufactured to be used by cancer patients suffering from chronic pain.

They are made to give off the right dose of fentanyl every hour. The addicts, however, get the full dose in one go by eating or – more often - smoking the patch through a bong pipe.

According to experts, the incorrect use of the patch is extremely dangerous, giving users a dose that can be a hundred times more potent than heroin.

“Many who use this stuff, use it instead of heroin. But it is not a substitute, it is much stronger. And it doesn't give a buzz either, it doesn't relax the user like heroin does. It is simply toying with death,” Kaj Knudsen, specialist and drugs expert at the Gothenburg Sahlgrenska hospital, told daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) earlier this year.

Six people in Halland County died in 2011 from using the drug and several others have been admitted at the hospital in Gothenburg after suffering from side effects caused by smoking or eating the patches.

Since the beginning of January, police in Halland have received two more reports of fentanyl-related deaths.

According to police, one of the victims had a legal prescription for the drug.

The use of fentanyl by addicts seems to still be limited to southern parts of the country and the west coast, according to Stewe Alm, analyst at the National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalen).

“From our perspective it is important to see what can be done to stop the handful of doctors who prescribe these and other narcotic-classified products too generously,” Alm told news agency TT.

Police in southern Sweden are now classifying fentanyl use as the currently most serious drug problem in the area.

“Most of the eight that we suspect died because of the fentanyl patches had a history of drug problems. That is a common denominator,” said Nilja to SR.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:54 January 18, 2012 by mamegoma
Why so stupid?? You use the patch wrong and pay for it...
13:41 January 18, 2012 by bcterry
Another reason why these addicts should be able to obtain their drug legally, and in a controlled situation.

The worse part of drug addiction, is what they have to do to get it.
18:51 January 18, 2012 by Nemesis
Even by Swedish standazrds this is a really stupid thing to do.
19:25 January 18, 2012 by SockRayBlue
Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. Afteral addicts will eventually find a way to eliminate themselves from the human gene pool thereby automatically donating themselves to local medical schools. Definitely a win-win situation.
20:33 January 18, 2012 by bcterry
Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. Afteral addicts will eventually find a way to eliminate themselves from the human gene pool thereby automatically donating themselves to local medical schools. Definitely a win-win situation."

Heroin addiction dates back to 3400 b.c., your high hopes are dead in the water.

Compassion, ....... ever heard of it?
00:12 January 19, 2012 by skumdum
@Nemesis

Really stupid comment, even by your "standazrds".
Today's headlines
Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft
The people in this picture are not those from the story. Photo: TT

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft

A woman in Gothenburg who accused a beggar of robbing her has been charged with fraud and false accusations. READ () »

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Photo: Kungahuset

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess

Sweden's royal family has set the date for the baptism of Princess Leonore. READ () »

The Local List
Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

With Swedish Game of Thrones fans frothing at the mouth at the season four premiere, The Local revisits its list of ten reasons why the hit books and show are (probably) based in Sweden. READ () »

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers
The Kockums Malmö shipyard and FMV headquarters. Files: TT

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers

After the Swedish military raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp, a military expert tells The Local why recent Russian aggression means Sweden's Saab needs to take control of national submarine production. READ () »

Swedish kids crack adult content 'code' at school
A child, unrelated to the story, on her computer. File photo: TT

Swedish kids crack adult content 'code' at school

Swedish parents who busted their children looking at adult content online were shocked to find the kids saying 'they'd learned the code at school'. READ () »

Industry bellwether SKF recovers to turn profit
A file image of ballbearings. Photo: Shutterstock

Industry bellwether SKF recovers to turn profit

After a drab end to 2013, Swedish ballbearing makers SKF anew posted a profit in its first quarter review. It could spell good news for the manufacturing industry worldwide. READ () »

Swedish Hobbit actor jailed in cocaine case
Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt. File photo: TT

Swedish Hobbit actor jailed in cocaine case

Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt has appealed a five-month prison sentence, handed down on Tuesday after he was found guilty of buying cocaine. READ () »

Property of the Week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
The property in Skinskatteberg. Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

The Swedish countryside is littered with small second homes, many up for a steal if you can see beyond dated wallpaper and imagine a country retreat with chanterelles and lingonberries growing in your backyard. READ () »

Puppies lost in 'black market' chihuahua raid
A chihuahua papillon crossbreed puppy. File photo: Shutterstock

Puppies lost in 'black market' chihuahua raid

Thieves escaped from a flat in Malmö on Monday with jewellery, electronics, and four chihuahua-papillon puppies. Police worry the dogs will be sold on the black market, a growing trend in Sweden. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
Sweden's worst office clichés revealed

Sweden's worst office clichés revealed

"We have to hit the brakes and the gas at the same time." Does your Swedish boss confuse you? You're not alone. Swedes have crowned that phrase as the worst workplace cliché of the year. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Advertisement:
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
TT
Society
VIDEO: Leaked 'Save Slussen' film goes viral
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching, March 28-30
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

723
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com