Fentanyl is a drug prescribed by doctors to treat patients suffering from serious pain, particularly following surgery. But according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is also used illegally. Its devastating potency makes it the most common drug associated with drug overdoses today. South Carolina residents should be aware of how dangerous fentanyl is, especially if they should encounter the drug.

Like other dangerous substances, fentanyl can be addictive, inducing people to seek out the drug and keep using it even if medical and personal consequences become apparent. Additionally, fentanyl is an overdose risk. Fentanyl can reduce breathing or even cause it to stop completely. Fentanyl can also cut off oxygen flow to the brain. The result can be a coma, irreversible brain damage, or even death.

Fentanyl is also dangerous because it can serve as a potent supplement to other substances like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Drug dealers may mix in fentanyl since it is a cheap way to induce a high. However, a fentanyl-laced drug can increase the chance of overdose if it exceeds the user’s opioid tolerance. Some users may not even be aware that they are taking a fentanyl-laced drug.

Generally, fentanyl that causes overdoses is created in labs. Synthetic fentanyl can be made into powder, however, it can also be made into pills that resemble legitimate prescription opioids. Synthetic fentanyl can also be housed inside legitimate drug dispensers, like nasal sprays or eye droppers. These methods of storing the drug increase the likelihood that someone could accidentally come into possession of synthetic fentanyl and perhaps take it without knowing they are ingesting something dangerous.

This article is written only to provide information on drug charges and is not intended as actionable legal advice.