What is Fentanyl?

What is Fentanyl?

For years, drugs such as Fentanyl have been on the market and provided time and time again to ‘help people in need’. However, the name Fentanyl has become a little more embroiled recently as it has been attributed as ‘the drug that killed Prince’. When the music legend died last year, there was much work going on to find out what killed him.

Sadly, this synthetic form of opiate is doing a lot more harm than it could ever do good. It’s a hugely dangerous drug, and it’s so exceptionally potent as well. The opioid epidemic in America has been causing a lot of arguments about how drugs are handled in America, and this latest opiate-based drug has really revved up the discussion.

While the drug is extremely dangerous, the name Fentanyl itself is not widely known – even in drug circles. It’s been around since the 1960s, though, and nothing has ever really been done to curtail its usage or existence. Apparently, the drug has 100 times the strength of morphine and even 30-50 times the power of heroin, it’s a drug that should come with an incredible warning sign.

Apparently, a single microgram could kill someone. It’s hugely powerful and has become one of the poster boys for the battle again the opioid epidemic in the United States. It’s usually only suggested to be given to people undergoing extensive and severe pain, usually in a form of a patch to help them mediate the pain and find comfort in life.

However, other forms with far more variable doses are easily obtained in the wrong circles – and is having a critical, negative effect on many people. Having become easily made in Chinese and Mexican facilities before being imported, it’s actually used to help cut heroin in some of the worst places: leading to a concoction that kills.

Combating Fentanyl

In the mid-2000s, a minor epidemic of Fentanyl being used broke out in which around 1,000 people died between 2005 and 2007. The lab was shut down that made it, though, and the problem quickly stopped, and Fentanyl vanished into the background of the drug world once again.

By 2015, though, it was back as the DEA started to warn of a ‘growing epidemic’ amid a huge increase in Fentanyl-caused seizures. The huge volume of locations that were now making Fentanyl ensured that supply was increasing, as was demand. This came from the creation of OxyContin, a powerful painkiller that was edited to ensure it could not be abused, leading to those in need of a fix looking for other, more dangerous, sources.

Hundreds of seizures and overdoses have been recorded since 2015, and the drug itself has been gaining a lot of notoriety because of it. While some states, such as New Hampshire, are beginning to pass damning legislation to offer murder charges to anyone who provides Fentanyl to someone in a lethal dosage, there’s not enough being done to combat this growing problem.

As ever, the path to success stems from understanding why people are taking Fentanyl, rather than pushing them to crime because of their actions. Understanding, not lambasting, will make the difference in the long battle to come against Fentanyl.

Street Names for Fentanyl

Apace, China Girl, China Town, China White, Dance Fever, Goodfellas, Great Bear, He-Man, Poison and Tango & Cash

These are just a few of the various monikers that the deadly synthetic opioid known as fentanyl has acquired on the streets. The illicit drug market has been saturated with several forms of fentanyl, each with its own distinctive street name, as the opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc on communities throughout the world. These evocative names not only mask the substance’s true composition but also draw new users looking for a potent and hazardous high.

“China White” is one of the most well-known street names for fentanyl. This name played on the clandestine attraction associated with rare and pure substances while also alluded to the drug’s origins. It is an effort to cover up the potentially fatal consequences of using this extremely potent opioid, which is thought to be 50–100 times stronger than morphine.

Another name that has become more popular recently is “Great Bear”. Given that bears are sometimes used as metaphors for tenacity and resilience, this moniker alludes to the drug’s enormous strength and power. Dealers are aiming to draw in thrill-seekers who are continually looking for a more intense and hazardous encounter by using this term.

Other titles, such as “He-Man” and “Dance Fever,” target particular groups of drug users. It appeals to individuals looking for a substance that will make them feel superhuman or allow them to overcome their physical limitations because the name “He-Man” conveys a sense of invincibility. On the other side, “Dance Fever” references to the party environment, luring people who desire a strong high to improve their dancing experiences.

These street names may appear funny or even innocent at first, but their purpose is to normalise and glorify the use of fentanyl. Fentanyl is actually a lethal drug that has ruined entire towns and taken many lives. It is important to realise that a highly addictive medication with a high overdose danger lurks behind these enticing titles.

The Chinese Connection in the Fentanyl Crisis

Despite China’s ban on fentanyl production and distribution in 2019, the illicit trade of this deadly synthetic opioid from Chinese sources persists. According to reports, thousands of online sales representatives in China work for companies secretly manufacturing and trafficking fentanyl globally. These suppliers often disguise shipments, mislabeling packages and concealing drugs in innocuous items like pet food. Some even boast about successful deliveries across countries, including the UK, guaranteeing discreet transportation. The U.S. government has accused China of subsidising companies involved in this illegal trade, with some state-owned enterprises allegedly complicit. With fentanyl up to 50 times more potent than heroin, the deluge of Chinese-made supplies continues fuelling the opioid crisis ravaging communities worldwide.

Photo: “Fentanyl” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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