Fentanyl is a Schedule II Drug
  • Schedule II drugs, substances or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, but less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs
  • Schedule II drugs have the potential to cause severe psychological or physical dependence
  • These drugs are considered dangerous

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate analgesic. It is similar to morphine but significantly more potent. It is typically prescribed to cancer patients and those suffering from chronic or breakthrough pain. Breakthrough pain is when a person is taking an opiate pain medication but has temporary pain that breaks through the opiate barrier.

The prescription form of fentanyl is sold under the names Actiq, Duragesic and Sublimaze.

Common street names include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT and Tango and Cash.

What does fentanyl look like?

Fentanyl is available as a pill, powder, blotter paper, tablet, spray or under-the-tongue film. Time-release formulas of fentanyl come in gel patches or lollipops. Injectable forms are found in hospital settings. The street-produced version of fentanyl is typically in powder form.

How is fentanyl abused?

Fentanyl is ingested, dissolved in the mouth, absorbed through the skin, smoked or injected. Fentanyl is also sometimes mixed with street-sold heroin, dramatically increasing the risk of overdose and death.

How does fentanyl affect a person?

Fentanyl, like other opioid drugs, binds the body’s opiate receptors which control pain and emotions. This can drive up dopamine levels, producing a state of euphoria and relaxation.

What are the health effects/risks of using fentanyl?

Because fentanyl is so powerful, users can become addicted without ever abusing it. In other words, someone taking fentanyl only as directed by a doctor can become addicted on a physical level. In addition, the difference between a therapeutic dose and a deadly dose can be as small as a microgram.

Common side effects of fentanyl use include drowsiness, respiratory depression/arrest, confusion, nausea, unconsciousness, tolerance and addiction.

Abuse of fentanyl can cause immune system depression, delusions or hallucinations, severe constipation, swollen extremities, paranoia, seizures, bowel obstruction/perforation and death.