Apr 22, 2014 – Fentanyl on the Street

April 22, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: THE POWERFUL PAIN MEDICINE FENTANYL IS BECOMING A PROBLEM ON THE STREET, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

A drug called Fentanyl is racking up a dubious record of overdoses and deaths. That’s because this very powerful pain relieving medicine is finding its way to the street, where people unaware of just how powerful it is are using it recreationally. Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine.

STRAIN: Fentanyl is a different opioid. Opioids are a class of drugs, heroin is an opioid, Fentanyl is an opioid, methadone is an opioid, oxycodone is an opioid, there’s a bunch of them. A lot of them are marketed as analgesics. What’s happened is that for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Fentanyl has become much more readily available on the street. It’s a very potent form of an opioid so just a little bit of it produces a significant amount of effect and some people are injecting that Fentanyl and can die from it. :32

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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