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Fentanyl Facts: Why the deadliest synthetic opioid is so common

Fayette County Narcotics K-9 Unit Seizes 15 Pounds of Fentanyl with a street value of $100 Million Dollars Pic 2
Posted at 2:48 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 15:25:37-04

WACO, TX — In 2019 more than 36,000 people died from overdoses related to synthetic opioids, such as Fentanyl, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

With a recent rise in drug trafficking, it's important to know where Fentanyl can be traced back to and why it's use is so common.

What is Fentanyl?

Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze® are prescription names for the drug Fentanyl; these can be prescribed in the form of a shot, skin-patch, or a lozenge/cough drop, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Used illegally, Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid and one of the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths, according to CDC.

Fentanyl is known to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the CDC. As little as .25 mg of Fentanyl is a deadly amount. The intake effects of the drug include an extreme high with feelings of happiness, drowsiness or sedation, nausea, confusion, problems breathing and unconsciousness.

Loss of consciousness and lack of oxygen can often result in Hypoxia, which is a condition that can result in a coma, death, or permanent brain damage.

Why is it common?

Because the drug is synthetic (made in a lab and therefore independent of agricultural production) it is less expensive for suppliers and found in almost all recreational drugs due to it's high potency.

Common street names for the opioid include Apache, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfellas, Jackpot, Murder 8, and Tango & Cash, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Where is it found?

Fentanyl is commonly mixed in with other drugs such as cocaine and heroine or in other recreational drugs found in a powder or pill form - users are most often unaware of this or underestimate the dose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Symptoms of addiction

On of the most severe forms of substance use disorder (SUD) is addiction. Addiction to Fentanyl can result withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches and bone pain, sleep problems, hallucinations, poor balance and coordination, rapid heartbeat, and mood changes, according to American Addiction Centers.