Opioid Addiction: The Dangers of Fentanyl

TULSA, Oklahoma — Fentanyl is an opioid originally made to treat severe pain. For advanced cancer patients, it was a comfort. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is the most dangerous drug in the United States.

It is often mixed with heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Amid the Oklahoma opioid crisis, 388 deaths involved opioid related overdoses. Tulsa ranked 37 in the state for deaths.

Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine, and just .025 grams can be deadly. Addiction counselor Troy Gould says it is the strongest he’s seen.

“It’s stronger in potency than just about anything on the market that’s used,” Gould said.

Although Fentanyl is available in pill and patch form, Gould says most users prefer ingesting it through IV, because the high is quicker and the drug remains in the body longer.

Fentanyl effects the respiratory system and a user can suffocate to death because they stop breathing. But that does not stop those addicted to the drug.

“If the opioid addict hears that there’s something very dangerous on the street, they want it,” Gould said.

There is help throughout Tulsa for those battling opioid or any addiction. 12 & 12 Inc. offers addiction treatment and recovery services.

Tulsa Sobering Center in collaboration with the Tulsa Police Department also provides counseling and rehabilitation for substance abuse and mental health issues.

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