What is Fentanyl Made Of and Why Is It So Dangerous?

what is fentanyl made of

More than 31,000 people died from synthetic opioids like fentanyl from 2017 to 2018, according to the CDC

The popularity of the street drug helped fuel the spike of overdoses in 2019, some 72,000. And recent reports have opioid deaths due to fentanyl on the rise

Addiction specialists and drug enforcement agents consider fentanyl one of the most potent and potentially deadly street drugs. And at 100 times more potent than morphine, the drug is sought after for its heroin-like high.

What is fentanyl made of? It’s a cocktail of chemicals sold and shipped to the Dominican Republic or Mexico, made in labs, and then sold to the American public. 

In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into fentanyl and what it does to the body. 

What Is Fentanyl Made Of? 

Pills of the synthetic opioid fentanyl can cost as little as $5 to $10. That’s one reason this highly addictive drug has caught on like wildfire throughout the U.S.

Fentanyl, like heroin and morphine, block the pain receptors in the brain. Opioids and synthetic opioids increase the brain’s dopamine levels. A buildup of dopamine is what helps create opioids’ intense, euphoria high.

Drugmakers developed fentanyl legally as an inexpensive way to manage chronic pain.

Since fentanyl is so potent, it is sometimes mixed with heroin or “cut” with other substances. This makes the drug potency extremely hard to predict for misusers and leads to overdoses and, sadly, deaths.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, and drug dealing organizations gather the chemical components and concoct the drug in clandestine labs. Smugglers make heroin and morphine, on the other hand, from the poppy plant.  

Where Does Fentanyl Come From? 

Despite the United States’ best efforts to stop the flow of the chemicals needed to make fentanyl, these ingredients ship from China to Mexico or the Dominican Republic. According to the DEA, India is on the rise for providing the component chemicals to create fentanyl. 

Once synthesized in a lab, cartels package the fentanyl and smuggle it into the U.S. for sale on the street. 

Fentanyl Dependence and Withdrawl

Just like heroin, snorting, injecting, or smoking are ways misusers abuse fentanyl. Even occasional use can create severe dependence for misusers, and quitting the drug is problematic since a powerful physical dependence develops quickly.

Some of the drug’s withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Chills
  • Aches and pains
  • Cramping
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression

These withdrawal symptoms will gradually recede over 2 to 10 days. However, urges and post-acute withdrawal symptoms can linger for weeks and months. 

Get Treatment Now

So what is fentanyl made of? The DEA lists benzylfentanyl, 4-anilinopiperidine, and norfentanyl as primary ingredients for street fentanyl — all highly addictive chemicals. 

But there is hope.

Due to the widespread nature of the outbreak, trained addiction counselors have extensive experience in getting willing misusers of fentanyl and other opioids back to leading productive, drug-free lives.

Professional supervision at a Drug Rehab Center can help misusers taper off opioid withdrawal. Trained personnel can also properly administer medical detox. 

Are you ready to get help? Do you want more information about treatment services? Contact us today!