Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show:
- Drug overdoses involving fentanyl increased 113% each year from 2013 to 2016.
- In 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths with nearly 29% involving fentanyl, 25% due to heroin, and 18% from cocaine.
What’s fentanyl? Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It’s a schedule 2 prescription drug typically used to treat patients with severe pain or surgery after-care. The powerful high and cheap cost influences drug labs to mix them in street drugs. Most of the time, buyers are unaware and suffer from overdoses.
Why is it dangerous? Fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain, emotions, and breathing rate. High doses of opioids, especially potent ones, can cause breathing to stop which can lead to death.
Solutions? Fentanyl test strips were originally developed by
Image Source: Washington Post