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Recently, there have been reports of fentanyl overdoses, and especially from fentanyl-laced drugs in situations where people likely did not even know they were coming in contact with fentanyl. So, what has made this dangerous drug the talk of the town? Why does it seem to be more talked about that cocaine or heroin? Well, here is a cold, hard statistic that will answer that question:

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent and 50 times more potent than heroin, according to Medical News Today. So the bottom line is that fentanyl is incredibly dangerous. In fact, fentanyl is the most potent opioid pain reliever that is available for use in medical treatments. While it is considered to be an effective and even safe method of treatment when monitored by a medical professional, it carries a high potential for abuse. Therefore, this makes it an incredibly dangerous drug when used in any other setting.

Because of its strength, fentanyl is often associated with accidental overdoses and deaths. Sometimes, these accidental overdoses come as a result of it being mixed with heroin. Because it is far more potent than heroin when mixed together the risk of overdose and death is incredibly increased.

What is fentanyl?

Of course, we’ve talked about the generic description of what fentanyl is. But now, let’s dig a little deeper into what fentanyl really is.

When taken, fentanyl binds to the opioid receptors in the body. This process increases the dopamine levels in the central nervous system. This increase of the hormone dopamine is what causes a feeling of relaxation, the relief of pain, the decrease in perception of suffering, and overall promotes a feeling of euphoria.

The effects of fentanyl only last for a duration of 30-90 minutes, and it can begin to relieve pain and produce sedation within minutes. It affects everyone differently based on many factors including weight, overall health, the amount taken, if it was the only drug taken, and other various factors.

Here are some fast facts on fentanyl:

  • There is only a very small difference between a therapeutic dose of fentanyl and a deadly dose.
  • Fentanyl is often used as a substitute for heroin by recreational users.
  • When used in medical uses, fentanyl is used for and is very effective at relieving moderate-to-severe chronic pain.

Drugs are dangerous, and just something can be prescribed and safe in a medical setting does not mean it should be taken in other settings. You might become a victim of an overdose and not even know until it is too late.