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Why is fentanyl so dangerous for the opioid crisis?

You have probably heard by now that America is in an opioid crisis. This crisis refers to the excessive use of prescription and nonprescription opioid drugs like heroin, oxycodone and others. Many people have found themselves addicted to prescription pain medications, which later led to the need to take illicit drugs once their prescriptions were no longer refillable.

Painkillers are relatively easy to obtain, maybe even easier than getting alcohol. For that reason, some young adults are falling victim to these drugs, too. Today, that's deadlier than ever as a result of a high-powered opiate drug, fentanyl.

Fentanyl is usually used after surgeries. It's a high-powered, fast-acting drug. It kicks in quickly so patients don't have to feel pain following a painful surgery. The trouble with fentanyl isn't that it is a painkiller but instead that it's so high-powered that it's easy to overdose on. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, and it has become a product of the black market. It's up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, so it's easy to see why it could be so dangerous to those using it.

Today, some illegal producers cut heroin with fentanyl. Sometimes, people don't know the heroin contains fentanyl. In the most serious cases, they overdose and die. In some fortunate cases, they're given a quick dose of a life-saving medication, Narcan, and survive.

Drug crimes can lead to criminal charges, but even worse is the risk of death or overdosing. Those who are addicted need help, not time behind bars. A solid defense could help you get the addiction treatment you need.

Source: FreeTimes, "A Different Dragon: How Fentanyl Has Changed the Opioid Crisis," David Travis Bland, accessed Nov. 29, 2017

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