Officials Seized 115 Million Illicit Fentanyl Pills in 2023

The other thing about the test strips is they can be very useful if somebody only uses cocaine, for example; they can test the cocaine to make sure there’s no fentanyl in it. But as I mentioned, even if fentanyl is not in the substance, there may be something else, such as a nitazene or carfentanil, that the strips will miss. So, it’s important for people to use the test strips but also to recognize that they’re not always 100% accurate. It’s important to acknowledge that the U.S. has, over the last 100 years, had an opioid in one form or another that people were misusing, and that has led to addiction—the formal term is opioid use disorder. Illegal fentanyl, however, has an unknown amount of fentanyl and may be mixed with other drugs, which may result in harmful behaviors. Discarded fentanyl patches may still contain significant amounts of the drug.

The DOJ’s Latest Move on Marijuana Is a Big Deal. It’s Still Too Little, Too Late.

The drug is produced by criminal drug networks in China and Mexico. NPR addiction correspondent Brian Mann joins us now, Hi, Brian. Comparable to fentanyl, fentanyl analogs have similar chemical structure and effects.

About the RAND Drug Policy Research Center

When it was founded in 1989, U.S. concern about illicit drugs had risen to near-panic levels. Violent crime, much of it related to drug distribution, was in the midst of a historic run-up, and media reports of “crack babies” contributed how long does fentanyl stay in your system to a sense of cities spinning out of control. Some countries also allow doctors to prescribe medical-grade heroin to those who have tried other treatments, such as methadone, multiple times but are still injecting heroin.

  • A senior U.S. official familiar with the investigation told CBS News that roughly a dozen letters were sent to addresses in California, Georgia, Nevada and Oregon as well as Washington state.
  • Write an article and join a growing community of more than 183,500 academics and researchers from 4,957 institutions.
  • The proportion of fentanyl pill seizures to the total number of fentanyl seizures more than quadrupled, with pills representing 49% of illicit fentanyl seizures in 2023 compared to 10% in 2017.
  • There is no way to know how much illicit fentanyl may be contained in a drug you plan to use or how potent it is.

Is naloxone effective against fentanyl overdoses?

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is illegal and can be sold as powder, nasal spray or pills that look like other prescription opioids. Fentanyl can be known by street names such as Apache, China Girl, Dance Fever or Goodfellas. Many people take illicit drugs not knowing if they contain fentanyl, researchers said. These pills often are made to resemble prescription medications like oxycodone or benzodiazepines, but really contain fentanyl. There is no way to know how much illicit fentanyl may be contained in a drug you plan to use or how potent it is.

Drug overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes, gunshots, or AIDS at its peak. But it’s no longer just a crisis of prescription pills or heroin. Deaths involving it and other synthetic opioids have surged from around 3,000 in 2013 to more than 30,000 in 2018.

Opioid Addiction: Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous? – Mass General Brigham

Opioid Addiction: Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous?.

Posted: Fri, 05 May 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Many people get exposed to fentanyl without knowing it.

  • The nasal spray form of naloxone does not require a prescription and can be obtained from pharmacies.
  • This is because it costs less to produce than other opioids, and because a small amount goes a long way.
  • In 2022, the DEA seized more than 50 million street pills laced with fentanyl — more than twice as many in 2021.
  • Always have materials (Narcan and the testing strips) and emergency numbers handy.
  • These pills are highly dangerous and can lead to overdose, particularly when the dose of opioid received far exceeds what is expected by the person consuming it.

Those are chemicals similar to fentanyl, but one part of their structure and chemistry is changed. They then have a different name, such as carfentanil or acetyl fentanyl. Fentanyl use can result in death even with one dose, especially if a person accidentally takes it incorrectly. A couple purchased some marijuana and smoked it on their couch.

why is fentanyl so dangerous

Prescription opioid analgesics

  • Misuse of fentanyl includes taking it orally, smoking it, snorting it, or injecting it.
  • These pills may be swallowed or crushed into a powder to be snorted or prepared for injection.
  • Drug dealers have used fentanyl analogs as an adulterant in illicit drug supplies since 1979, with fentanyl-related overdoses clustered in individual cities.
  • He’s board certified in emergency medicine and addiction medicine, among other things.
  • While some people knowingly consume fentanyl, many people do not know if the drugs they plan to use contain fentanyl.

You should never use it unless it has been prescribed by a licensed medical professional who cares for you and is dispensed by a licensed pharmacy. Another reason fentanyl is so dangerous is that many people are simply unaware of this ongoing threat. According to the CDC, man-made opioids like fentanyl are fueling the majority of overdose deaths in the United States. Naloxone, best known by the brand name Narcan, is a nasal spray that can be used to reverse an opioid overdose and is now available over the counter.

why is fentanyl so dangerous

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RAND is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. More than three decades later, the center continues to evaluate, compare, and assess the effectiveness of an extensive range of drug policies. It has maintained a clear identity and focus, drawing on the talents of a global, dedicated group of researchers with a broad range of analytical expertise. Public opinion polls showed that drugs were seen as the most important problem facing the United States.