What is Fentanyl?
Overview: Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that slows down the body’s functioning, 80-100 times more potent than morphine. It is typically prescribed for chronic, severe pain as a result from nerve damage, back injury, cancer, or other trauma. It is approximately 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Such brand names consist of Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze.
Street Names: Apache, China Girl, China Town, China White (heroin plus fentanyl; synthetic heroin), Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfellas, Great Bear, He-Man, Jackpot, King Ivory, Murder 8, Perc-a-Pop (a berry-flavored lozenge on a stick designed to give relief to cancer patients that is being illegally diverted), Poison (heroin; fentanyl). T.N.T. (heroin; fentanyl), Tango & Cash, TNT (heroin plus fentanyl).
Looks Like: White to off-white powder, white or green tablets, transdermal patches, “lollipops” that can dissolve in the mouth.
Methods of Abuse: Clinically, fentanyl is often injected, given orally or as a transdermal patch. Abusers ingest pills orally or wear/ chew the patches. Fentanyl can also be extracted from the patches via syringe. If gel patches are available, users squeeze out the gel and either ingest orally or smoke it. Users are also lacing (adding) heroin with fentanyl, increasing the “high” and danger of an overdose.
Affect on Mind: Physiological effects from fentanyl include euphoria and an increased sense of well-being, anxiety, auditory and visual hallucinations, depression, moodiness, paranoia, irritability, increased drug cravings, dizziness, and changes in sleep and appetite.
Affect on Body: Physical effects of fentanyl include: drowsiness, lightheadedness, weakness and fatigue, dry mouth, respiratory depression, difficulty urinating, constipation, gastrointestinal problems, swollen hands and feet, tightness of the chest, ulcers/ sores/ white spots in the mouth, low back or side pain, convulsions, blurred vision, and fever/chills.
Drugs Causing Similar Effects: Other opiates such as morphine, hydromorphone, methadone, and oxycodone have a similar effect as fentanyl.
Overdose Effects: Overdose effects of fentanyl include: clammy skin, extremely shallow or slow breathing, seizures, severe drowsiness or inability to be awakened, low blood pressure, and pinpoint pupils which can potentially lead to death.