Fentanyl Abuse Leading To 577+ Deaths

Fentanyl Facts

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and the RCMP have partnered with new online education initiatives to help stop the rash of fatalities from the abuse of Fentanyl as a recreational drug. This alert comes in the wake of an even more potent variation called W-18 that is reported to be 100 times more potent than Fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. This drug is being mixed with other opioid-based drugs such as Oxycodone.

BACKGROUND
W-18, (1-(4-Nitrophenylethyl)piperidylidene-2-(4-chlorophenyl)sulfonamide), is a powder that is a highly potent opioid agonist with a chemical structure not closely related to other opioid drugs making it more difficult to detect when mixed with other drugs, such as Fentanyl. It was invented by Edmonton chemists, in 1982.1 The purpose of their research was to create a pain killer that would not be addictive; however, the research was abandoned when they realized the extreme toxicity of the compounds they created. The chemist team developed a series of compounds from W-1 to W-32, W-18 being the most addictive and toxic.

Fentanyl is often found in the form of a transdermal patch that delivers a time-released dosage of pain killer through the skin. Many drug users will cut up the patch and sell/use pieces. The pieces are then taken orally or smoked. The drug is not evenly applied to the patch surface and may actually all be concentrated in one small section. The thought by users is that if they cut up the patch, they will be reducing the dose of the drug to a non-lethal amount. If they get the piece with all or most of the drug on it, they fall asleep and stop breathing - and die.

Three new resources are available online. Share this information with anyone you may know who is a recreational drug user, may be inclined to dabble in drug use or who has access to fentanyl. Without immediate medical attention there will be little chance of surviving or having a favourable outcome.

Website: www.facethefentanyl.ca
Twitter: @facethefentanyl
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