Fentanyl is Now a Schedule I Narcotic
November 18, 2017
There are two kinds of fentanyl, both of which do the same thing—kill pain and individuals. One form of fentanyl is found in a hospital setting for severe levels of pain, often used in the performance of surgical operations. The other form of the synthetic opioid, made from ingredients manufactured in China, is later sold on the black market and used illicitly. Again, we are talking about the same drug, mostly, a caveat of the former being it’s only administered by doctors, who then monitor the patient.
We don’t need to tell you that the stakes are high when it comes to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. An ever-growing number of overdose deaths in the United States involve this narcotic. You may have heard that overdoses involving fentanyl often cannot be reversed with the lifesaving drug Narcan (naloxone). Heroin is mixed with fentanyl on a regular basis to enhance potency, despite the risk of killing the consumer.
It’s less likely you are aware that fentanyl, particularly illicit-forms of the drug, has long escaped DEA scheduling. A reality which has allowed fentanyl and the ingredients used to make it to find their way into the United States. Prescription fentanyl is a Schedule II narcotic, which means it has medical benefits, but carries a high risk of dependence and addiction.
Illicit Fentanyl is Scheduled
Like with synthetic marijuana, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has had a hard time combating illicit synthetic opioids. The effect of banning the drug means chemists need only tweak it a little bit to skirt the roadblock. In recent months the agency worked hard to argue for scheduling illicit fentanyl, so they can go after manufacturers and dealers. They made headway this week with the announcement that illegal fentanyl analogs are now a Schedule I narcotic. Now, the drug in illicit form has the same classification as heroin, Reuters reports. The temporary scheduling will hold for two years, with the option of a one-year extension.
“Today’s action represents just one step in the ongoing fight to battle the opioid epidemic,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “DEA is committed to using all of its tools to aggressively fight and address the opioid crisis and growing fentanyl problem plaguing the United States.”
The decision, the agency hopes, will make it easier to prosecute anyone distributing the drug, or an analog, like carfentanil (an elephant tranquilizer). Hopefully, this will make people less likely to deal with the stuff given the risk of imprisonment. Only time will tell, in the meantime focus must be redirected to treating individuals with opioid use disorder before they come across deadly synthetic opioids.
Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
Addiction to opioids is treatable, provided one receives help. At Christians Drug rehab we can help you or a loved one learn how to live a life in addiction recovery. Please contact us today.