Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and typically used to treat severe pain following major surgery. Most often recognized as a patch or lozenge, fentanyl can also be injected.
Fentanyl has been the subject of hundreds of news broadcasts in recent years because it has become a popular additive to already dangerous illicit drugs. Taken on its own, fentanyl can cause respiratory distress and even death. The combination of fentanyl with other drugs only intensifies those risks and has led to countless overdoses and deaths. When created specifically to be cut with other drugs—most frequently heroin or cocaine—synthetic fentanyl is sometimes sold as a powder or spiked on “blotter paper” to be put in the mouth.
Because of its incredibly high potency and increased risks for addiction and death, early treatment with MAT is incredibly important. Addiction to fentanyl, just like other opiates, can be treated with methadone, Suboxone, or other opioid addiction medications.