At a visit to The Strip, one of Surrey, British Columbia’s most notorious drug hangouts, investigative journalist Eric Ranklin interviewed Kati Mather, a 22-year-old fentanyl addict. Ranklin, reporting for CBC News, describes Mather as seeming as though she has been badly beaten, with her face covered in blood. Fentanyl is a very potent synthetic opioid that many use and abuse, with Mather confessing she has overdosed 11 times (with the most recent one just a few days ago). The blood on her face comes from a side effect of drug withdrawal – users feel as though their skin is crawling so they pick and claw at it. Recalling how it all started, Mather’s fentanyl use started as recreational. The party drug, however, started helping her from pain, especially after a vicious dog attack on her and her twin Jesi just months ago. Mather tried quitting fentanyl several times, but the wait list is too long that she always ends up relapsing before getting into a treatment center. Three months is too long for her and many addicts to wait, but she also insists that getting clean isn’t too hard. Staying that way is the more challenging part, but she tries to stay positive about her future.

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Kati Mather thought it would be fun to try fentanyl as a party drug. After 11 overdoses, the 22-year-old lives life one day at a time, wondering if she’ll wake up tomorrow.

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