Fentanyl (also called Apache, China Girl, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, Tango and Cash, and TNT) is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 100 times more potent. U.S. doctors use it to treat patients with severe pain, such as cancer, and especially after surgery. It is made with a precursor chemical, which comes from China and India only. Illegally made fentanyl is often added to illicit drugs making them cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and much more dangerous.


When legally prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl can be given as a shot, a patch that is put on a person’s skin, or as lozenges that are sucked like cough drops.

Illegally made fentanyl is available in different forms, including clear liquid, powder, and pills. It may be injected, smoked, snorted, or absorbed through the mouth tissue. Powdered Fentanyl looks just like many other drugs, has no noticeable taste, smell or color. It is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and manufactured into pills that are made to resemble prescription pills, typically containing talc as well. Fentanyl-laced drugs are extremely dangerous, and many people may be unaware that the drugs they purchase are laced with fentanyl.

The Effects

Fentanyl produces effects such as euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, nausea, impaired coordination, dry mouth, itching, sweating, clammy skin, and constipation. Fentanyl can cause tolerance, addiction, respiratory depression and arrest, unconsciousness, coma and even death.

Like heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors. After taking opioids for a while, the brain adapts to the drug, making it hard to feel pleasure from the drug.