70% of drug overdoses are caused by Fentanyl.

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What is Fentanyl?

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 or, more commonly, manufactured illegally and mixed with other opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines (i.e. Xanax), and many other recreational substances.

Why is it so dangerous?

Similar to other opioid analgesics, Fentanyl produces effects such as relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression. Because of its potency, very small amounts can suppress a person’s respiratory drive very quickly.

Where is Fentanyl Found?

  • Heroin

    Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine, 50 times more potent than heroin, and its effects are even greater in combination with other drugs.

  • Meth

    Methamphetamine is a stimulant, as is cocaine, but often these stimulants are cut with fentanyl (a sedating drug); illegal drug manufacturers do this to save money, and often work in labs that aren’t following any standards or safe ratios of each drug.

  • Ecstasy

    Many drug suppliers mix fentanyl with methamphetamine or oxycodone, and then add red, yellow or blue food coloring to form a pill sold as MDMA, or ecstasy. Or they mix these drugs and sell it as (fake) Xanax.

  • Recreational Drugs

    Counterfeit pills are a huge problem; fentanyl is found in fake oxycodone, fake Xanax, fake Adderal, and many others. These pills are stamped and shaped to look like an actual pill from a pharmacy, and it is nearly impossible to tell the difference.

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Why is Fentanyl being added to recreational drugs?

Fentanyl increases the potency and addictive potential when it is added to other drugs. It is also cheap to manufacture and distribute. Most fentanyl is manufactured in clandestine labs and smuggled across our border, although some of the pill manufacturing/pressing happens in the U.S. Most people who take opioids on a daily basis (pills and heroin) have built up a tolerance to opioids which is somewhat protective in preventing overdose, but not always. But many who are exposed to fentanyl have not been exposed to opioids in the past, and an extremely small amount of Fentanyl exposure can be deadly.