Fentanyl – The Opioid Crisis
Fentanyl is a synthetic pharmaceutical prescribed for severe pain-relief. It is usually only prescribed for intense and severe pain that is physically debilitating. Fentanyl is routinely prescribed for relief from pain associated with advanced cancer diagnoses.
You may realize that morphine is a pain-reliever which can cause severe addiction. With that in mind, understand that fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, so you can see how easy it would be to abuse this drug for feelings of euphoria, and pain-relief.
Fentanyl is usually prescribed as a lozenge that can be taken orally, or as a transdermal patch which is applied to the skin. Sometimes injections are prescribed. The drug is becoming in such high demand that it is being produced in overseas drug laboratories and smuggled into the US from China and other less regulated countries. The smuggled drug is often sold as a regulated dose of fentanyl. These illegal, street fentanyl products can create incredible addiction, and are responsible for overdoses and death.
The next level of addiction
If you hear someone speaking of China Girl, Jackpot, TNT, Dance Fever or Tango and Cash in a setting where those terms don’t seem to apply, what you may be hearing common street names for illicit fentanyl.
Like hydrocodone and OxyContin, fentanyl is considered an opioid and narcotic. The brand names for fentanyl-based pain relievers include Duragesic and Sublimaze, among others. A rush of dopamine, a “feel good” chemical, is delivered when fentanyl is taken, and this is one of the reasons this prescription or street-level opioid is so addictive.
Fentanyl has also been found to be cut or added into heroin being sold on the streets to provide users with a more intense experience. First time or newer heroin users typically overdose almost instantly if they unknowingly use heroin cut with fentanyl.