Fentanyl is very similar to morphine, but it's 50-100 times more potent.  It's a prescription drug that's also produced illegally.  And, there's a market for it here in our area.

Last night Richland Police and Richland Fire were called to an unresponsive individual, a possible fentanyl overdose....

Posted by Richland WA Police Department on Thursday, November 19, 2020

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) Fentanyl is typically used to treat pain and mostly prescribed for patients especially after surgery.

Drug dealers often mix cheaper fentanyl with other drugs like heroin, and methamphetamine to get more money on the street.  When a person overdoses, medical personnel have difficulty identifying which drug caused the overdose.

Naloxone can treat a fentanyl overdose when it's administered right away.  Fentanyl is stronger than other opioids and a person who overdoses on Fentanyl may need multiple doses of naloxone.

Can fentanyl use lead to addiction?

Yes. Fentanyl is addictive because of its potency. A person taking prescription fentanyl as instructed by a doctor can experience dependence, which is characterized by withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped. A person can be dependent on a substance without being addicted, but dependence can sometimes lead to addiction.

You can read more about the effects of fentanyl, what it's called on the streets, and how to treat addiction here.

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