What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a strong synthetic opioid. Fentanyl is a Schedule II prescription drug used by professional medical experts for pain relief; however, Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than prescription morphine. When Fentanyl is used by medical experts it can be a useful pain management narcotic; however, it can be highly addictive and dangerous when not supervised properly by medical experts.
Illicit Use of Fentanyl
Illicit Fentanyl in the United States is mostly made in foreign illegal labs and smuggled in through the southern border and ports. Because of the addictive nature of Fentanyl, American illegal drug traffickers and dealers have added Fentanyl to other illicit drugs to increase their potency. Fentanyl has been discovered in heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and illegally sold marijuana. Drug traffickers, dealers, and users also call illicit Fentanyl by street names such as “China Girl”, “Dance Fever”, “Jack Pot”, Goodfellas”, and “He-Man”.
Fentanyl is inexpensive and its addictive properties are just two reasons why American drug dealers are mixing it with other illegal drugs. Many unsuspecting illegal drug users have no idea that Fentanyl has been added to their illegal drug of choice. This makes the end user of illegal drugs susceptible to the effects of Fentanyl as they are most likely not used any type of opioid in their past drug experimenting, and this can be immediately lethal for the user. This dangerous illegal drug practice has increased drug overdoses across the United States. For every fatal Fentanyl overdose, there are approximately 15 nonfatal overdoes. Because of the strength of Fentanyl, it can be quick acting for the unexpecting user, which also makes it extremely dangerous.
Illicit Fentanyl comes in pills, powders, and liquid forms. Because Fentanyl is so powerful it can be easily added by the illegal street drug dealer to other illegal drugs, and most of the time without the buyer even knowing the illicit drugs they are buying is tainted with Fentanyl.
National Health Crisis
The illicit manufactured Fentanyl problem is a national health crisis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that 60% of opioid related overdose deaths in the United States involve Fentanyl. Because Fentanyl can be manufactured cheaply, and the street cost is low, this has increased the practice of drug dealers adding it to other illicit drugs to increase their illegal drug dealing enterprises.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 217,000 Americans have died from illicit overdoses from synthetic opioids in the last 20 years.
One of the best ways to combat the use of Fentanyl is through educating the public on the dangerous of the drug. Talking with your children and young adults about the dangers of illicit drug use is critical to protecting our kids. It only takes one time using a Fentanyl laced drug to be fatal.
About the Author
Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state, and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. Mark has a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an associate professor of criminal justice at a university, and he teaches in both the Graduate and Undergraduate programs.