New Drug Significantly More Potent Than Heroin
Acetyl fentanyl, a new drug that is making its way through the streets, has been noted as being fifteen times more potent than heroin. The drug is being mixed into street drugs and is oftentimes mistaken for heroin by users.
The drug is a close relation to its namesake, the painkiller fentanyl, which has not been recognized in the United States as having any medical benefits (Ackerman, 2014). Because fentanyl is not regulated, it is easier for users to obtain and use as a substitute for heroin.
The Northeast has been hit with a wave of overdoses, deaths, and emergency room visits as a result of fentanyl-laced heroin, which is one hundred times more powerful than morphine. The problem with this drug, states University of North Carolina scientist John Stogner, is that “A patient may report heroin use and have symptoms consistent with heroin overdose, but an emergency physician may find that the standard dose of antidote—naloxone—doesn’t work” (Ackerman, 2014). A larger dose of naloxone is required to treat an overdose of acetyl fentanyl.
Ackerman, M. (2014). New drug acetyl fentanyl fifteen times more potent than heroin. The Fix. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/new-drug-acetyl-fentanyl-15-times-more-potent-heroin