(West Virginia University) If heroin is coffee, fentanyl is espresso. Just as a miniscule cup of espresso can hype you up more than a whole mug of coffee, a single exposure to fentanyl can get a user vastly higher than injecting the same volume of heroin. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin.
In a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health, West Virginia University researchers Gordon Smith, Marie Abate and Zheng Dai found that fentanyl-related deaths are on the rise in West Virginia, even as deaths related to prescription opioids decline.
By analyzing all drug-related deaths in the state from 2005 to 2017, the research team--which included medical examiners from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources--discovered that between 2015 and 2017, deaths from fentanyl were 122 percent of what they were between 2005 and 2014.
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