When music superstar Prince died on April 21 at his home in Minnesota, it rocked the country. This was especially true after sources close to the death investigation indicated that Prince may have died as a result of a prescription drug overdose, highlighting the serious drug addiction problem facing many people in the United States. Now it has been confirmed by medical examiners that the celebrated entertainer died as a result of fentanyl.
Fentanyl Poses Serious Health Risks
Fentanyl, currently marketed under brand names like Actiq, Duragesic and Sublimaze, is a painkiller that does not receive as much media attention as other prescription painkillers like Percocet or Oxycontin. Fentanyl is a very dangerous drug that has been classified by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II narcotic. This means that the drug has limited medical uses and a high potential for abuse which can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
One thing that makes fentanyl so dangerous is that it can be prescribed by doctors to patients who suffer from severe pain after undergoing surgery. As a result, many patients who are already having a hard time dealing with pain management issues find that they are hooked on an incredibly powerful narcotic. In fact, fentanyl is reportedly 80 times more potent than morphine and significantly more powerful than heroin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the 1970s, fentanyl was not as readily available to people suffering from pain. More commonly, the drug was used recreationally by drug addicts who gained access to stashes at pharmacies.
These days, fentanyl is synthesized and “cut” for resale and distribution by drug traffickers and drug dealers. In many areas of the country, fentanyl abuse has become more frequent than heroin abuse.
The health risks posed by fentanyl, whether the drug is obtained legally from a doctor or illegally from a drug dealer, are very real and need to be acknowledged by the public.
For more information, see the Yahoo.com article, “All about Fentanyl, the Drug That Killed Prince and Is Sweeping the U.S.”
If you or a loved one has been arrested for illegal prescription drug possession, possession of heroin or any other drug crime in New Jersey, the aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC can help you fight the charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.