Science

Why fentanyl could become the UK’s most dangerous drug

Fentanyl binds much more strongly to these receptors meaning a much larger dose of the antidote is needed. Emergency staff in the US have been known to administer a dozen or more doses of naloxone in cases of fentanyl overdose with no appreciable effect.

Since the 1960s the fentanyl backbone has been modified and tinkered with to produce a huge number of variants that will differ in their interactions in the body. Some variants are more powerful sedatives than others and they differ in how long before they take effect. Carfentanil, for example, is thousands of times more powerful than morphine and is used to tranquilise elephants. It is so powerful that those who work with elephants, park rangers etc., are required to have two people present if they are planning to use carfentanil darts. One person is there to fire the dart, and the other, sitting next to them with the antidote ready, in case of an accidental scratch. Incredibly there have been cases of human consumption of carfentanil, spiked in heroin or cocaine.

Original Article (The Guardian):
Why fentanyl could become the UK’s most dangerous drug
Artwork Fair Use: ​Public Domain

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