Here comes the fentanyl

C22H28N2O has hit the UK’s streets.

More commonly known as fentanyl, this synthetic opioid, a prescription drug that is at least 50 times stronger than heroin (some say even stronger) has become a serious problem in the US.

Last year there were probably (final data is not yet compiled) some 60,000 drug overdoses deaths in the US, a country where more people now use prescription painkillers (95 million) than smoke. There were slightly more than 5,000 seizures by police of drugs containing fentanyl in the US in 2014; 15,000 in 2015; and more than 30,000 in 2016.

It’s deadly stuff. It’s not yet a big problem in the UK – 58 people died from overdosing on fentanyl in 2016. But that was more than double the number (22) in 2012.

Picture source: Crohnie