The opioid crisis is something almost every area in the United States must deal with. It is a tragic situation tied to the pharmaceutical industry.
While opioid pills are the sought-after source for those addicted, cheaper and easier to secure alternatives often become the only option. This means people will buy drugs off the street. The biggest issue with this is a person can never be sure what is in the product he or she is purchasing. The scariest issue currently is fentanyl-laced drugs.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is an opioid that is comparable to morphine. What makes it stand apart is its potency, which can be 100 times that of morphine.
While many opioids come from the opium poppy plant, fentanyl is synthetic, meaning it is man-made in a laboratory.
There are legal uses of the drug through prescription and careful monitoring. It usually is a pain medication for severe situations.
As with any opioid, a person will build a tolerance to the drug and require more of it to experience any effect. However, it only takes a very small dose of it to be fatal. It is one of the most common drugs associated with overdose deaths in the U.S.
An overdose will occur if the dosage of the drug is higher than a person’s body can handle. The reason fentanyl often produces an overdose is that someone mixed it into a drug without telling the user. That person is unaware of what he or she is taking and how strong it is.
Can be in anything
While often associated with other opioids, officials have found fentanyl in other types of drugs. It can be in almost any illegal substance, and because the dosage for a fatal reaction is so low, it makes its presence incredibly dangerous.