Fentanyl, the New Epidemic

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is the newest culprit in the opioid crisis rocking our country.


Kylene Vang, Staff Writer

As each year goes by, over 3,000,000 people from the U.S. pass away. Over 107,000 of these deaths are caused by drug poisoning. 67% of those drug poisoning deaths are caused by the drug, fentanyl.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. This is a prescription drug that is made specifically for treating severe pain, specifically advanced cancer pain, and after surgery. This drug is similar to morphine (an analgesic and narcotic drug obtained from opium and used medicinally to relieve pain), but 50-100x stronger than it.

 Fentanyl may cause extreme happiness and confusion. You may also feel a bit drowsy and have some problems breathing later. You may have nausea, constipation, and unconsciousness as well. All of these symptoms can show a sign of passing away soon. Although me people think that these symptoms happen, later on, fentanyl kicks in within minutes of taking it. According to research, most of the people that have died from fentanyl only contained a pinch of the substance.

 Although fentanyl is used to help with severe pain and injury, many people use this drug illegally, using it to overdose even when they’re not in pain, which causes harm to the body. Just a pinch of this substance can cause extreme harm to the body and may even kill you. Many drug dealers also mix this drug with other kinds of drugs, because it takes very little of it to produce a high, making it the easier choice. These drug dealers may also mix fentanyl in different amounts in the drugs without you knowing, causing some of the pills to be stronger than others.

While fentanyl is dangerous the best defense is to avoid taking any unprescribed drugs/medicine. Taking drugs from someone else without knowing what is in them is also one of the main ways people get poisoned. According to research, 43% of poisoning is caused by drug poisoning.

Many people out there still don’t know about this dangerous substance. So next time you’re offered pain medication and don’t know what’s in it, think twice.