Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 80 to 100 times more potent. 

Fentanyl is a Schedule II prescription drug used to manage pain after surgery.  It is also prescribed to patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids.  Prescribed use of fentanyl must be monitored by a healthcare professional.Many people with substance abuse disorder use fentanyl illegally. Often, Fentanyl is diverted (taken by someone other than prescribed by a medical professional).  Street drugs — cocaine, heroin, meth and even marijuana — are often laced with fentanyl, creating a toxic and often fatal mix.  Users (knowingly and unknowingly) are ingesting fentanyl in street drugs, and very small doses of fentanyl, the size of a pin head, can be a deadly.

The synthetic opioid played a part in killing 803 Georgians in 2020, compared to 392 in 2019.

The number of fentanyl-involved deaths in Georgia more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, according to data from the state’s public health department.

  • Do not take medications not prescribed for you or experiment with opioids.
  • Know the symptoms of fentanyl overdose, including nausea, vomiting, cold and clammy skin, blue-colored lips and fingernails, slowed or stopped breathing and decreased heart rate.
  • In emergencies, call 911. (Georgia laws protect people from prosecution who call seeking help in the event of an overdose, so if you see someone who needs help, DON’T RUN. CALL 911.)
  • If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, get help by calling the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.
  • Purchase Naloxone over-the-counter in Georgia without a prescription and train yourself on the 3 Steps to Save A Life.
  • J’s Place Recovery Center offers recovery support to help you get the support you need to beat opioid addiction: 678-316-0403.

In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by such names as Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®.  Fentanyl, like other opioids, interacts with opioid receptors in the brain and brings about a range of responses from feelings of pain relief to relaxation. Medicinal fentanyl comes in a number of different forms and strengths including:

  • transdermal patches (Durogesic®, APO-fentanyl® and generic versions)
  • lozenges/lollipops (Actiq®)
  • intravenous injection (Sublimaze® B. BRAUN FENTANYL®).