• Green apples
• Fake Oxy
• Shady eighties
How is fentanyl used?
• Powdered fentanyl is often sold as ‘synthetic heroin’, or mixed with heroin to increase the heroin's potency or to compensate for poor quality heroin. The powder is dissolved and injected. It can also be smoked or inhaled.
• When pressed into pill form (e.g. fake 'Ox-80's'), fentanyl can be swallowed and absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract.
• Fentanyl is available in patches as it is easily absorbed through the skin. Users will heat the contents of a new or used patch (in a container such as a pipe or on foil) and inhale the fentanyl.
Some users cut up patches into pieces and suck on them or swallow them.
How potent is fentanyl?
• Fentanyl is approximately 80 - 100 times more potent than morphine.
• Fentanyl is extremely potent with as little as two milligrams of fentanyl enough to cause overdose and death.
• A 100 mcg dose of fentanyl has the potency equivalent to approximately 10 mg of morphine.
1 mcg = 0.001mg.
This means a tiny amount of fentanyl is very potent.
That amount is as small as 2 grains of salt.
Can someone overdose on fentanyl?
• There is a high risk of overdose when taking fentanyl! The risk for death from taking fentanyl is greater than for morphine and heroin.
• Fentanyl overdose deaths are usually as a result of inadequate oxygen supply associated with the combined respiratory depressant effects of the drug and paralysis of the chest muscles.
• Death can be immediate. Even one small dose of fentanyl can be fatal.
• Symptoms of overdose include extreme drowsiness and sedation.
• Large doses of the drug naloxone are needed to reverse overdose effects of fentanyl.
How deadly is fentanyl?
• Between 2009 and 2011 there were 655 known fentanyl deaths in Canada.
• Between 2011 and 2014 there were a total of 162 fentanyl-detected and 61 fentanyl-implicated deaths in Alberta.
• From January 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015, there were 213 Albertan deaths associated with fentanyl.
• These numbers are likely underestimated due to unreported instances, or unknown Fentanyl related deaths.