This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
America’s heroin epidemic is being overtaken by another deadly drug addiction: fentanyl.
Fentanyl is an opioid painkiller 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.
Fentanyl’s stronger, fast-acting high keeps addicts coming back and makes overdoses frequent.
The CDC reports roughly 5,500 people died from fentanyl overdoses in 2014. Fentanyl overdoses increased by 88% between 2013 and 2014 and is still on the rise.
Fentanyl made headlines when it was identified as the cause of music legend Prince’s death.
Some dealers trick addicts by combining fentanyl with other drugs, like heroin, because it’s cheaper.
The drug can be taken as patch or pill but is usually abused intravenously.
Doctors prescribe fentanyl to cancer patients when routine pain medicine isn’t strong enough. Prescription fentanyl brands include Subsys, Actiq, Gentora, Abstral, and Onsolis.
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