JUL 06, 2017 04:37 PM PDT

How a Few Granules of Fentanyl Can Kill

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 13 522

As one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets, fentanyl can cause an overdose even in tiny quantities. Earlier this year, a police officer was rushed to the emergency room and treated for fentanyl overdose after briefly brushing some of the powdery residue off his uniform.

The synthetic opioid is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. Typically, the drug is administered in clinical settings to patients suffering from chronic pain, such as those battling end-stage cancer.

But for some people, the exquisite potency of fentanyl is exactly what they're after. The CDC estimates that illegal drug seizures containing fentanyl increased by 426 percent between 2013 and 2014. In conjunction, the number of deaths associated with synthetic opioid overdose also increased by almost 80 percent in the same period.

What does fentanyl do to the brain that overrides the fear of overdose with this drug? Watch the video to find out more!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Is your commute harming your health?
How far do you commute every day? According to US Census data, the average daily commute...
JUL 24, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 24, 2018
What is UV Photography?
Human eyes see visible light, whose wavelength ranges between 400 and 750 nanometers (nm). To visualize anything lower than 400 nm, one can resort
JUL 30, 2018
Videos
JUL 30, 2018
Identifying Symptoms of a Heat Stroke
A heat stroke is when the body loses its ability to cool itself and the body’s core temperature becomes dangerously high. For some individuals, a hea
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Award-winning Images of Organoids From the Koch Institute
Every year, the Koch Institute at MIT shares some of the most stunning images produced at the research facility.
AUG 02, 2018
Videos
AUG 02, 2018
CBD and THC Effects on the Brain
What has similar chemical make-ups but different structures? CBD and THC. In the video below, learn more about how THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cann
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
One Cell was Consumed by Another in a Evolutionary Leap
A process called endosymbiosis may have given evolution a lot of help.
Loading Comments...