Skip to main content

About opioids

What are opioids?

Opioids such as heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, Vicodin, codeine, morphine and methadone suppress breathing, and in cases of overdose, can result in severe brain damage and even death due to oxygen deprivation.

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate narcotic, a prescription drug used primarily for cancer patients in severe pain. Fentanyl is extremely toxic. A piece of fentanyl the size of one or two grains of sand can cause an overdose. It is roughly 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine.

Fentanyl is a contaminant you can’t see, smell or taste. It can be found in pills sold as fake oxys and other club drugs, in powder as heroin or fent, and can be mixed into other drugs like cocaine and crystal meth. There are no reports that fentanyl is being found in cannabis (marijuana). People don’t often think the substances they are using contain fentanyl.

Although fentanyl is sometimes used in the management of complex pain, it must be prescribed by a physician and the dose should be carefully monitored.

What is W-18?

W-18 is a synthetic opioid, which can be up to 100 times more toxic than fentanyl. Use of this toxic drug, even in very small amounts, could result in a fatal overdose. Read news story: Drug more dangerous than fentanyl reaches Lower Mainland

What is carfentanil?

Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid which can be up to 100 times more toxic than fentanyl. Use of this toxic drug, even in very small amounts, could result in a fatal overdose. It is used as a general anaesthetic for large animals such as elephants. 

What fentanyl can look like

Fentanyl has become popular in the manufacturing of counterfeit Oxycodone pills. They can look like the ones below. Learn more at Fentanyl Safety - about fentanyl

    

Testing for fentanyl







SOURCE: About opioids ( )
Page printed:

Copyright © Vancouver Coastal Health. All Rights Reserved.