Fentanyl is a potent prescription narcotic that is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine. Medically, fentanyl is used to treat severe pain. It is always prescribed as a short-term treatment because it can be so habit-forming. When used other than as prescribed, fentanyl is extremely dangerous based on its potency and potential for abuse. Individuals who develop fentanyl dependence disorders are at constant risk of overdose – taking slightly more than the body can handle is often lethal.
Because it takes such a small amount of fentanyl for the user to experience a high, drug dealers will use the drug to cut other substances like heroin, MDMA and cocaine. Heroin is commonly cut with fentanyl – of course, the drug dealer will rarely let the buyer know that the drug they’re purchasing is impure. For this reason, those who are struggling with heroin addiction often unwittingly develop a fentanyl dependence as well. The drug is also responsible for thousands of opiate-related overdose deaths on an annual basis. Because of its potency, it is also common for those who were prescribed fentanyl by a medical professional to develop a dependence, even when the drug has been taken as prescribed.