Furanyl fentanyl is a derivative of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which produces a high similar to heroin but is 50 times more potent. It has contributed to at least 128 fatal overdoses across the country.
“We’ve seen a lot of activity since 2015 in regards to misuse,” said DEA spokesperson Melvin Patterson. “People have been abusing it for its psychoactive properties, and it’s just been a big problem.”
Fentanyl was designed as an intravenous anesthetic in 1960 by chemist Paul A. Janssen. Its derivatives, including furanyl fentanyl, became designer drugs concocted by foreign chemists in order to skirt international controlled substances laws. Furanyl fentanyl was classed as a Schedule I narcotic in July 2015, which outlawed the use, sale and production of the synthetic opioid in the U.S.
Experts believe furanyl fentanyl may pose a greater health risk than heroin due to its rapid onset coupled with a short half-life, which makes it more addictive. It also goes undetected in standard biochemical tests for fentanyl.
Manufacturing fentanyl and its derivatives are cheaper and more profitable than growing poppies for heroin. Because of furanyl fentanyl’s strength, just a few…(continue reading)