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Why is Fentanyl Dangerous?

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

By now you have likely heard of Fentanyl and that it extremely dangerous. So what is Fentanyl and why is it such a hazard?

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl in itself is actually not harmful. It was invented by Paul Janssen in 1960 and is the most widely used synthetic opioid in many pharmaceuticals and anesthetics. It is even listed as an Essential Medicine by the World Health Organization. Synthetic opioids solve a major logistical issue with traditional Opium used in pharmaceuticals. Due to regulations and economic use cases it is almost impossible to source poppy plants locally and cost efficiently. By being able to synthesize Fentanyl in a lab it eliminates the need to source large quantities of raw poppy plants and convert it for use.

So what is the big deal?

Have you ever seen Breaking Bad? In the show, high school chemistry teacher Walter White identifies that the meth being peddled by the local drug cartel is lacking in quality and purity. Using his chemistry background he creates lab grade meth for the cartels and you have to watch the rest of the show to see how it unfolds. The point is - most Fentanyl is #1 not produced in a laboratory setting and lacks quality controls that Big Pharma uses to make sure that the product is safe and not contaminated. One small misstep and your "essential drug" is now liquid death. #2 the people that are mixing Fentanyl with street drugs are by no means the people you would want to be trusting your life with. Quite literally, a heavy handed extra drop of Fentanyl is the difference from not dangerous to lethal. I was talking to a police officer friend who informed me that another officer actually OD'd from just touching the substance during a traffic stop. Luckily he survived.


What makes Fentanyl so useful to Big Pharma is also why it is so dangerous. Fentanyl according to the Center for Disease Control is up to 100x more potent than many forms of street opium. While this is great for manufacturing prescription drugs, this means there is no room for mistake when handling. The typical lethal dose of heroin is about 30 mg and the lethal amount of Fentanyl is around 3 mg. Below is a photo taken from the New Hampshire state police that clearly illustrates that there is no room for error. Just 1 extra spec of Fentanyl powder makes the difference.

What Can You Do?

Fentanyl overdose is one of the most preventable tragedies of the drug pandemic. While we never condone any drug use, regular testing of drugs bought is a simple, effective and low cost way to see if a substance contains any trace amounts of this deadly drug. Tests provided by are the most effective way to test for Fentanyl with little more than a cup and some water. A John Hopkins Study found that BTNX Fentanyl strips provided the most protection vs. any other competitor tested.

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