Fentanyl is a synthetic drug 50 times stronger than heroin in powder, patches pill form and even lozenges. Carfentanyl is 100 times stronger.
Fentanyl is being added to many drugs including heroin to increase the potency. It binds to the same opioid receptors that are found in parts of the brain that control pain and emotions. People buy heroin not realizing it’s laced with fentanyl.
Street names include Apace, China Girl, China Town, China White, Dance Fever, Goodfellas, Great Bear, He-Man, Poison and Tango & Cash.
Since 2013, the amount of overdose deaths associated with fentanyl and similar drugs has increased from approximately 3,000 to 28,000 in the U.S. (Katz & Sanger-Katz, 2018).
Arizona has become a top spot for fatal overdoses due to a flood of Fentanyl pills being smuggled in from Mexico. Fentanyl pills are being sold as “Mexican Oxy or Percocets.” Some people take the drug thinking they are taking a much less potent Oxycodone or Percocet and overdose.
Katz, J., & Sanger-Katz, M. (2018). The Numbers Are So Staggering. Overdose Deaths Set a Record Last Year. The New York Times.
Fentanyl deaths from ‘Mexican oxy’ pills hit Arizona hard. (2019, February 14). Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fentanyl-deaths-mexican-oxy-pills-hit-arizona-hard-n971536
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