There are two distinct categories: pharmaceutical fentanyl and illicitly manufactured fentanyl. The former is a powerful painkiller prescribed by physicians to help patients manage severe pain, often post-surgery or during advanced cancer treatment. However, the latter, illicitly manufactured fentanyl, is unfortunately the main culprit behind fentanyl abuse cases. It’s essential to recognize the contrasting roles these synthetic opioids play.

Illegally sold fentanyl produces a euphoric sensation comparable to heroin, yet it surpasses the potency of drugs like heroin or morphine. The CDC reports that fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. This heightened strength not only contributes to its addictive nature but also makes it highly dangerous, even fatal.