Skip to content

How Do People Abuse Fentanyl

Fentanyl Abuse Signs

What Is Fentanyl? Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed in the form of fentanyl transdermal patches or lozenges and can be diverted for abuse. Most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made and street fentanyl. It is sold through illegal drug markets for its effect similar to heroin. It is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a “cutting agent” or combination product (speedball drug)—with or without the user’s knowledge—to increase its euphoric effects. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is typically administered intravenously (IV), intramuscularly (IM), transdermally (TD) as skin patches, intranasally (IN) in the form of a volatile nasal spray, and intrathecally (IT). It is also available as a buccal soluble thin film, which can dissolve in the mouth, similar to the sublingual tablets. However, in contrast to other synthetic opioids, it is less common to find forms of synthetic drugs such as oral tablets or powders. Who is Most Likely to Abuse Fentanyl? Fentanyl is addictive because of its potency. Moreover, taking certain medications with fentanyl may increase the risk that you will…