What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid originally designed as an intravenous anesthetic 100 times more potent than morphine. It is legally manufactured, distributed, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. However, it must be properly prescribed or administered by a doctor due to it's potency and lethal repercussions. Most prescribed doses are in micro-grams (one millionth of a gram). Fentanyl is both highly addictive and highly lethal and has been found in phony Oxycontin and Xanax pills as well as cocaine, MDMA, and heroin. There is no way of telling if a drug or pill has fentanyl in it unless tested.
Pictured above is the equivalent of a lethal dose of fentanyl which could be as small as 2 milligrams or 2/1000 of a gram.
The Opioid Crisis...
The United States has seen such a rapid increase in the abuse of non-prescribed opioid drugs that in October of 2017 President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a Public Health Emergency.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) the total number of drug overdose deaths has doubled in 10 years from 30,000 in 2006 to 64,000 in 2016. Fentanyl contributed over 20,000 of the 64,000 drug overdose deaths in America with both numbers expected to increase when 2017's totals come out.
How to Help
First, we can change the negative stigma of substance abuse addicts. Often times people addicted to prescription pills and other illicit drugs are viewed as poor decision makers. The fact is addiction is a disease that is uncontrollable to the addict. Do we view people with cancer as having bad decision making skills? No, they don't choose to have their disease and neither do addicts. If you're an addict yourself it's important to know that there are ways of treating this disease. If you're a recovered addict you can share your story which may give the courage to other addicts to seek help.