Fentanyl Becoming a Major Problem Across the United States

Fentanyl Becoming a Major Problem Across the United States

Advika Choudhary, Reporter

What is Fentanyl? 

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is used for treating severe pain, usually advanced cancer pain. It is similar to morphine, but it’s 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl is a prescription drug, but it is also made and used illegally. 

Why is Fentanyl so Deadly?

This drug is very addicting and people who are prescribed this drug have to be monitored for potential misuse or abuse. Fentanyl is so fatal that even a little overdose could end someone’s life. If your skin is exposed to fentanyl, it is important to wash that area with water as quickly as possible. Fentanyl is highly fat soluble, meaning it quickly moves from the bloodstream to the brain, causing rapid effects. It is often mixed into other substances, causing people to consume it without meaning to, which causes accidental overdoses or deaths. The lethal dose for fentanyl is estimated to be about two milligrams, but many counterfeit pills have more than twice that amount. 

Rainbow Fentanyl?

The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning people about colorful fentanyl. This new type of fentanyl appears to be the new method drug cartels are using to sell highly addictive and potentially lethal fentanyl. It is made to look like candy to children and young adults. Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat facing our country, according to the DEA. 107,662 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021 alone, 66% of those deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl. 

Overdoses and Deaths Related to Fentanyl

Police recently reported that an LA student (15-year old girl) was killed by fentanyl and six others were overdosed. Last week, police arrested two boys, ages 15 and 16, in connection with this case and other drug sales in the area. The drugs were being sold in a nearby park on campus. The girl’s family reported her missing when she didn’t come home from school. Authorities reported, she and a classmate bought a pill containing fentanyl from another kid believing it was a prescription painkiller. They took the drug on campus and soon lost consciousness. That night, the school was open for soccer and volleyball games. Around 8 p.m. the classmate woke up and found her friend unresponsive. Her death was announced at the scene by firefighters.