What is fentanyl?

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid. It’s only available with a prescription, and its manufacture and distribution are tightly controlled. It has been safely used in medical settings for over 50 years for pain management and as a surgical anesthetic.

Illicit fentanyl is made in unregulated facilities and sold through drug trafficking networks. Because fentanyl is an odorless white powder, it can easily be mixed with any drug that is consumed in the form of a pill, powder, or crystals.

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