Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller. It’s one of the most potent narcotics on the market and highly addictive. The fast-acting painkiller is prescribed for severe and chronic pain. Prescription Fentanyl comes in the form of tablets, a nasal spray and lozenges.
The most popular form of Fentanyl is a patch that releases the drug slowly over three days. These patches can be abused by scraping out the gel contents and eating or smoking the entire dose all at once to get high. Fentanyl’s potency is so deadly, it can be up to 100 times more toxic than the same amount of morphine and up to 50 times more toxic than heroin.
As little as 2 mg of powdered Fentanyl can cause an overdose and death. That’s about the same amount as two grains of salt. This highly dangerous chemical owes its rise to the legacy of Oxycontin. The popular brand-name prescription painkiller was taken off the market in 2012 after reports of addiction and overdoses exploded. According to police, it’s the rise of illicit Fentanyl, often manufactured by chemists in China and processed by dealers for street sale in Canada, that is increasingly leading to overdose deaths.
As illicit production of this drug is swiftly taking the place of Oxycontin, it is often cut into other drugs like heroin or pressed into fake oxy tablets. When it’s cut into other drugs, it’s easy to get the dosages wrong. Imagine a batch of cookies with an uneven number of chocolate chips in one cookie, versus the rest. Sometimes the Fentanyl is mixed into other drugs secretly to make them more powerful which also significantly raises the risk of overdose or death.