Fentanyl, a Powerful Opioid We’ve All Become Familiar with in Recent Years

Following the death of Prince in 2016, Fentanyl became a well-known painkiller that prior to that time was rarely mentioned. Unfortunately, people often take this drug believing it is hydrocodone although it’s said to be 50 times stronger than heroin. Still, regardless of the danger, many continue to sell or distribute this Schedule II drug which not only causes severe dependence but is highly abused. While it is approved for use in cancer patients with excruciating pain, using it in any criminal manner may result in serious consequences. iStock_000011602905_Large-2-300x200

Used as a recreational drug, many who purchase what they believe to be other narcotic drugs such as heroin or opioid drugs often don’t realize the drug is actually fentanyl disguised as another pharmaceutical or “street” drugs. Over the last 17 years thousands of individuals have died as a result of using fentanyl, even when prescribed by medical professionals but used improperly by patients in some cases.

Fentanyl is highly potent, and can result in overdose when used by those who are seeking a “high” because of its addictive properties. Derived from morphine, fentanyl is not only administered via IV prior to surgery but can also be taken in tablet, lozenge, film, powder, nasal spray, or transdermal (through the skin) form.

Possession, use, and distribution of fentanyl is extremely serious given how easy it is for someone to accidentally overdose on this powerful opioid drug. Whether you possess fentanyl or distribute/sell this narcotic substance, the criminal penalties you may face if found guilty of a criminal offense are harsh, and may include prison time, fines, and other sanctions depending on the situation.

Death by overdose is more common than you might think with fentanyl, as some mix it with heroin or other opiates or even take it unknowingly believing it is another opiate drug, or heroin which unbeknownst to the user is laced with fentanyl. A deadly and dangerous drug, no matter how you look at it.

How do those looking to use fentanyl (or even another illegal drug) recreationally get access to those drugs? In the “old days” users would buy them off the street from dealers, and while this is still a popular practice today, many use the Internet, but not the Internet most of us are all so addicted to. Instead, those looking to shop illicit drugs go to the DarkNet by downloading software that makes it possible to browse anonymously and even pay for illegal merchandise using digital currency that doesn’t leave a paper trail revealing the buyer’s identity. There’s more to it than that, but you get the gist.

No matter how it’s done, those who possess or distribute fentanyl or other dangerous controlled substances can find themselves facing criminal charges if they get caught – and many do. Prosecutors fight aggressively to ensure those who unlawfully possess, use, or sell fentanyl or other narcotics are convicted and face the harshest possible penalties. If found guilty of a drug offense involving a Schedule II controlled substance, the offender can face anywhere from one year to life in prison depending on the amount of drug involved, criminal history, and other factors. Whether the drug was for personal use only or the amount possessed adds suspicion the person intended to distribute the substance is another factor, as a possession with intent to distribute charge is more serious than simple possession.

Regardless of the situation, anyone who is accused or suspected of possessing or distributing fentanyl or other highly addictive and dangerous narcotics must work with a highly skilled Michigan defense attorney who will protect your legal rights and provide unmatched guidance and legal representation.