What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a strong synthetic opioid that is given intravenously in hospitals for anesthesia, rapid pain control, and sedation. It is also prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain, as a transdermal patch. Fentanyl is responsible for the surge in opioid-related deaths seen in MA since 2013, due to it being a potent and fast-acting drug.
Where has it been found?
Fentanyl is typically sold as is, or as heroin. It may be present in other drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine and pressed pills without the user’s knowledge.
What can I do about fentanyl?
If you use drugs, when you get a new supply, test them for fentanyl before using. Additionally, always use the harm reduction strategies outlined here to prevention a fatal overdose.
Overdoses Involving Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a strong, fast-acting opioid that can be purchased as is, or sold as other drugs. Most people who are overdosing start breathing again 3-5 minutes after being given naloxone. However, because of its strength, overdoses involving fentanyl can occur quickly, and may require multiple doses.
Fentanyl overdoses do not require special treatment. Simply follow the steps outlined here to recognize and respond to any overdose, whether you suspect fentanyl was involved or not.