What Is Fentanyl? Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous?

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an extremely potent and dangerous synthetic form of opium. Fentanyl is 30-50 times more potent than heroin, and 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and certain Fentanyl variants can be as much as 1,000 times as powerful as morphine. Fentanyl is administered medically to patients to manage pain after surgery, particularly patients that have developed a tolerance to other opiate painkillers.

What Is The Prescription Name For Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is known in its prescription form as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze.

What Are Street Names For Fentanyl?

Fentanyl and heroin laced with fentanyl are referred to by their street names as Apache, China Girl, Jackpot, Friend, Dance Fever, Goodfella, Murder 8, TNT, or Tango and Cash.

Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous?

As already outlined, Fentanyl is extremely potent. Medical Fentanyl can be as much as 50-100 times more powerful than morphine, while certain variants can be as many as 1,000 times more powerful.

In a medical setting, fentanyl is administered through injection, a lozenge, or transdermal patch. However, when fentanyl is produced and sold illegally, it may be a powder, blotted onto paper, or mixed with heroin.┬áIn recent years, fentanyl being mixed with heroin has become more common – the result has been catastrophic, with the number of fatal overdoses increasing drastically. In Ohio, where the opioid epidemic has hit particularly hard, the number of Fentanyl induced overdoses doubled from 503 in 2014 to 1,155 in 2015.

Source: Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics

Often, users don’t know they’re even consuming fentanyl, and given how much more potent it is, this can easily lead to an overdose. Fentanyl is also combined with cocaine.

Overdoses of fentanyl must be treated with naxolone immediately. Due to the potency of the drug, a higher dose of naxolone is often required.