Fentanyl, also known as fentanil, is a synthetic opioid which was developed as a pain medication and for use as anesthesia. It has a rapid onset (often described as explosive by frequent users), and generally last less than an hour or two. Fentanyl is available in a number of forms including by injection, as a skin patch, and to be absorbed through the tissues inside the mouth. The use of fentanyl by way of injection is where the drug has obtained it’s fame over the last years, as a sharp rise in drug overdoses in North America and Europe have been accredited to the sharp increase of black-market fentanyl use.

Fentanyl, much more potent than traditional heroin or morphine, is also becoming preferred over heroin by drug smugglers. According to Wikipedia, fentanyl is about 75 times stronger than morphine, and some fentanyl analogues may be as much as 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Smuggling fentanyl is both easier and often much more profitable than smuggling heroin. Higher profits naturally leads to fentanyl being more and more available, reports say that addicts often have no idea that their heroin is supplemented with fentanyl.

When you take into account that fentanyl or analogues of fentanyl are being produced in large quantities in countries such as China and Mexico, aimed at supplying the North American and European black market, will addicts be able to know the potency of the fentanyl they buy on the street? The sharp increase in drug overdoses indicate that addicts might misjudge the potency of their doses more frequently now than before.

Iboga providers need to apply caution when treating the heroin addicts of today. It is understood that Iboga and Ibogaine potentiates substances such as opioids by as much as 400%. Should a heroin addict have ANY fentanyl in their body (it is extremely important that the person being treated not have any opioids, opiates, or other contra-indicated substances in their body), while entering an Iboga treatment, there is a high probability it can lead to an overdose.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report: “Opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 42,249 deaths (in The United States) in 2016, and opioid overdose deaths were five times higher in 2016 than 1999.”

CBS news on Dec 21, 2017: US government figures released Thursday put drug deaths at 63,600, up from about 52,000 in 2015. For the first time, the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins played a bigger role in the deaths than any other legal or illegal drug, surpassing prescription pain pills and heroin.”

Reuters (Lisbon) on June 6, 2017: “Drug overdose deaths in Europe rose six percent to 8,441 in 2015, rising for the third consecutive year, driven by increasing use of synthetic opioids like fentanyl, Europe’s Lisbon-based drug monitoring agency said on Tuesday.”

Other fentanyl facts:

  • Common side effects include nausea, constipation, sleepiness, and confusion. Serious side effects may include a decreased effort to breathe, respiratory depression, serotonin syndrome, low blood pressure, or addiction.
  • As of 2017, fentanyl was the most widely used synthetic opioid in medicine.
  • In 2016 more than 20,000 deaths occurred in the United States due to overdoses of fentanyl and its analogues.

Sources:
Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl

CBS News, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/opioid-fentanyl-overdose-deaths-us-life-expectancy-drops-for-second-year/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html

Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-drugs/drug-deaths-on-the-rise-in-europe-for-third-year-report-idUSKBN18X1Y4