ambulance running a red light to a drug overdose

Fentanyl was initially formulated for alleviating severe pain. However, it has found itself at the center of a devastating opioid epidemic. It’s infamous for its potency, leading to a surge in overdose deaths in recent years. Fentanyl depresses the central nervous and respiratory systems. Overdosing on fentanyl causes respiratory failure – the primary cause of death.

Drug Market

The introduction of fentanyl to the illegal drug market has drastically changed the landscape of the opioid epidemic. Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, amplifying its reach and the dangers associated with its use. Some users unknowingly consume fentanyl.

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent then heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

Fentanyl is now one of the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Reports stated that a significant portion of opioid overdose deaths were attributed to fentanyl or its analogs.

Forms of Use

Fentanyl can be ingested, snorted, smoked, injected, or absorbed through the skin. The variety of consumption methods, combined with its potency, makes it a particularly insidious substance. Illicitly sold fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, misleading users about its presence and potency.

Street Names

•Apache•Dance Fever
•Jackpot•Murder 8
•Tango & Cash

Addressing the Crisis

Addressing the fentanyl crisis requires an integrated, multi-pronged approach. Strategies must encompass not only law enforcement and legislation to control the supply of fentanyl but also public education campaigns to raise awareness of its dangers.

  • Improved access to naloxone, a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses.
  • Expansion of medication-assisted treatment programs will play a crucial role.
  • Ensuring more treatment programs offer Evidenced-based therapies.
  • Increase financial assistance to help facilitate more people have access.
  • Offer further education so people understand the steps to achieve long-term recovery.

Addressing socioeconomic disparities and providing mental health support can help to reduce the crisis at its root.