Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid intended to treat severe pain and is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Some drug dealers are now mixing fentanyl with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA because it is a cheaper option. Others sell fentanyl as counterfeit oxycodone or alprazolam pills to increase its euphoric effects. The drug consumer often has no idea what they are taking and the results are deadly.
A Dangerous and Deadly Drug
A dose as small as two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equivalent to the size of two grains of salt is fatal to most people. According to the CDC, more than 36,000 people died in the United States from overdoses involving synthetic opioids in 2019. In California, from 2018 to 2019, there was a 90% increase in drug overdose death rates involving synthetic opioids.
What’s Being Done?
It is the intention of the Napa County District Attorney’s Office to now give a Fentanyl Advisement at the time of plea or sentencing in cases that involve the manufacture, possession for sale, sales or transportation of a controlled substance. The advisement warns convicted defendants of the dangers of fentanyl and informs them that they could be charged with murder if they sell drugs laced with fentanyl to someone and that person dies as a result of ingesting it.