Fentanyl is being developed into analogues which are increasingly dangerous. The most recent fentanyl offshoot, gray death, is so highly potent that people who overdose on it cannot be revived by the opioid reversal drug Narcan.
- Fentanyl is a prescription synthetic opioid: Fentanyl, also known as Actiq, Duragesic or Sublimaze, is a prescription medication in the same category of prescription narcotic painkillers like other morphine based opioids. The difference between fentanyl and these other common medications is that fentanyl is a synthetic opioid meaning it is chemically made. Instead of being based in morphine, fentanyl is based in a synthetic compound that acts like morphine. However, fentanyl can be 50-100 times stronger than regular morphine. Doctors prescribe fentanyl when a patient does not react normally to morphine based pain medication. Though morphine is a natural byproduct in our system not everyone experiences pain relief from morphine substances because they cannot metabolize the morphine.
- Fentanyl is not an American product: Prescription fentanyl was an American patent. Many analogues of fentanyl, meaning alternative products, were filed for patenting by American pharmaceutical companies, making their records public. Companies found that some forms of synthetic opioids were too strong and posed a threat should they be released onto the market. Most government agencies believe that the fentanyl not coming from doctor prescriptions but being found on the street are being manufactured in China, then funneled through cartels in Mexico.
- Fentanyl is a dangerous drug: Fentanyl cannot be used recreationally under any circumstances. Though there are people developing an active tolerance and addiction to fentanyl, they are few and far between. Most people who experiment with fentanyl experience an overdose- many of those overdoses are fatal. Fentanyl in extremely potent forms are posing a threat to people who don’t actually use the drug as well. Fentanyl is highly dangerous because it has no taste, odor, or much of a color. Translucent and undetectable, it is easy to accidentally ingest the drug or not be able to detect the drug in another drug. Other street drugs like cocaine, heroin, and benzodiazepines are being discovered with fentanyl laced in them.
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