By: Shannon Persad
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Facts About Fentanyl: What You Need to Know
Opioid addiction is rampant across the country, which began with the abuse of prescription drugs.
Now there are substitutes on the street such as heroin and fentanyl that have added to the overdose deaths that are on the rise.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA),
“In 2017, there were more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in the U.S.–an age-adjusted rate of 21.7 per 100,000 persons. Among these, 47,600 involved opioids. The sharpest increase occurred among deaths involving fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (other synthetic narcotics) with more than 28,400 overdose deaths in 2017.”
As you can see, fentanyl is making a name for itself, taking the lives of many as it becomes a popular street drug.
What is Fentanyl?
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), fentanyl is:
“Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico.”
There are various street names associated with fentanyl. According to the DEA, they include:
- China Girl
- China Town
- China White
- Dance Dever
- Great Bear
- King Ivory
- Murder 8
- Tango & Cash
Fentanyl produces effects such as sedation, pain relief, euphoria, drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, and more symptoms associated with commonly used analgesics.
It remains a mystery how a drug for cancer patients is now one of the leading causes of opioid overdose deaths in the United States.
Fentanyl is fatal, and because it is so powerful, even the smallest of dosages can cause death. To read more facts about fentanyl, click here.
If you or someone you know is abusing fentanyl, seek immediate professional help.