11 Things Everyone Should Know About Fentanyl

By The Valor Team
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 2:55 pm in
Photo of wall in Vancouver for the ones we lost due to overdose
  1. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly half of opioid-related overdose deaths involve fentanyl. Synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, have surpassed prescription opioids as the most common drug involved in overdose deaths in the U.S.
  2. Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and able to enter the brain especially quickly because of its high fat solubility. Just 2 milligrams can kill a person. Many people who use opioids and cocaine are accidentally being poisoned by fentanyl-laced products.
  3. Although fentanyl is a medicine prescribed for post-surgical pain and palliative care, most of the fentanyl responsible for this surge of deaths is made illicitly in China and imported to the U.S. 
  4. Unlike other opioids, fentanyl doesn’t require harvesting and refining the poppy plant. Instead, it can be created easily and inexpensively in a lab.
  5. According to the DEA, one kilogram of fentanyl can be purchased in China for $3,000 to $5,000 and then generate over $1.5 million in revenue through illicit sales in the U.S.
  6. Slang words for fentanyl are China Girl, China White, Murder 8, Tango and Cash, Pink.
  7. Fentanyl and synthetic opioids sold illicitly can be mixed with heroin or cocaine, which amplifies its potency and potential danger. Overdoses of these drugs may require higher doses of naloxone to successfully reverse the overdose.
  8. Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid-related overdoses, including heroin and fentanyl, and is a critical tool in preventing fatal opioid overdoses. Depending on state and local laws, this medication can be administered by EMS, law enforcement, other drug users, or family and friend bystanders who have obtained the medication.
  9. The signs of fentanyl use are euphoria, drowsiness, confusion, sedation and respiratory depression and arrest.
  10. When people stop using heroin then return to heroin use, their tolerance has inevitably been lowered, and they are more susceptible to overdose. Even in people already using heroin, their tolerance to stronger synthetic opioids like fentanyl may be lower, so the risk of accidental overdose is higher if they unknowingly take fentanyl-laced heroin, whether through the same method, or their first time trying a new method (i.e. snorting, smoking, or injecting).
  11. Being aware of the dangers of these drugs may deter many adolescents from trying them and prevent accidental death by overdose, the leading killer of youth in this country. With fentanyl killing so many people, it’s now more important than ever to have an honest discussion about the dangers of misusing drugs with your loved ones.

As you can see, fentanyl is extremely dangerous. It’s important to talk to your teens or young adults so they understand the risks. Talk to them often, and share the frightening facts. Tell them not to take drugs in any form, unless prescribed specifically to them by a medical professional.