Alere is now Abbott

Fentanyl

Depressant

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid of high potency and short duration of action. It is used as an anaesthetic and in the management of chronic and breakthrough pain for opioid tolerant patients. It is a controlled drug prescribed by clinicians and administered by one of the following routes: as an injectable solution for surgical anaesthesia, transdermal patches for management of chronic pain, tablets/lozenges/lollipops taken sublingually used for cancer pain (breakthrough pain), film for buccal use and a nasal spray.

Used as a recreational drug the effects of fentanyl are similar to that of heroin, although users of the drug report that the “high” is less intense than with heroin, while the sedative effects are stronger. Fentanyl is also a very short-acting drug, which means it quickly becomes addictive to users who want to maintain their high. Fentanyl is nearly a hundred times more potent that heroin and users are at an even greater risk of respiratory depression when using fentanyl. Fentanyl is taken in different ways and can be smoked, snorted or injected.

Some drug dealers mix fentanyl with other drugs to make them stronger or to improve low quality drugs. Fentanyl in powder form mixed with heroin can be a lethal combination. Use of fentanyl is not compatible with safe driving.

Eating

Eating

Users cut up and eat transdermal patches.

Injecting

Injecting

Fentanyl is sometimes mixed with heroin and injected, which is known as "magic" or "the bomb”.

Patches

Patches

Transdermal patches are diverted from legitimate medical supplies and applied to the skin.

Smoking

Smoking

The gel from transdermal patches can be removed and smoked.

Snorting

Snorting

A gel and powder mix can be snorted.

  • Powerful analgesic
  • More potent than morphine
  • Euphoria and relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Dependency
  • Coma
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Death
  • Dangerous when taken with other drugs

Risks from injecting:

  • Overdosing
  • Damage to veins and arteries
  • Ulceration and gangrene
  • Contracting a blood borne virus (if sharing needles)
Fentanyl patch

Structure

Molecular structure of fentanyl

Street Names

apache, china girl, china town, dance fever, friend, goodfellas, great bear, he-man, jackpot, king ivory, murder 8, tango & cash, perc-a-pop, poison, TNT, china white

Legal Status

Class A Substance

Possession of the drug can lead to up to seven years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying the drug can lead to up to life imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.

For more information about drug classifications and the associated penalties visit the Home Office website.