What is fentanyl and how does it kill?

Published: Thursday, June 02, 2016 @ 2:01 PM
Updated: Monday, August 22, 2016 @ 10:28 AM

What is fentanyl, how is it usually administered and what does it do to the body?

Here’s a quick look.

  • Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 times more potent than heroin. The drug is partly responsible for a recent surge in overdose deaths in some parts of the country. 
  • Fentanyl is similar to, but more potent than, morphine, and is used to manage pain after surgery or treat patients with severe pain.
  • Fentanyl is often administered in a patch. Sometimes cancer patients will take it via a lollypop.
  • The drug is released into fat in the body. It moves slowly through the bloodstream providing several days of pain relief.
  • In its prescription form, fentanyl is known as Actiq, Duragesic, Onsolis, Instanyl, Fentora and Sublimaze. Street names for the drug include Apache, China girl, China white, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, as well as Tango and Cash.
  • Mixing fentanyl with other drugs or with alcohol amplifies their potency and potential dangers.
  • Side effects from the drug include: euphoria, drowsiness/respiratory depression and arrest, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, tolerance, and addiction.
  • The drug is considered a high risk for addiction and dependence.
  • Fentanyl acts on receptors in the brain and spinal cord to decrease the feeling of pain.
  • Fentanyl can cause serious or life-threatening respiratory problems.
  • More than 700 fentanyl-related overdose deaths were reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration in late 2013 and 2014.

Sources: The Associated Press; The National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institute on Drug Abuse; WebMD

Related

Pregnant woman fatally shot by boyfriend trying to end relationship, police say

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 11:39 PM

A man fatally shot his pregnant girlfriend in an attempt to end the relationship, police say. (Photo: Fox13Memphis.com)
A man fatally shot his pregnant girlfriend in an attempt to end the relationship, police say. (Photo: Fox13Memphis.com)

A man fatally shot his pregnant girlfriend Saturday in an attempt to end the relationship, police said.

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Keosha Miller, 22, was shot around around 6:59 p.m. in the Faronia Square Townhomes, Memphis police said. 

Brandon Freeman was seen by witnesses, fleeing the residence at a high rate of speed, police said. The witnesses called Freeman to check and see if he was OK. He told them "some random guys tried to shoot he and his girlfriend."

Freeman later returned to the scene and moved evidence there, police said. 

Freeman later admitted to police that he shot and killed Miller because he was unsure if she was pregnant with his baby and it was the easiest way he could think of to get out of the relationship.

“There are a number of things you could’ve done to get out of that relationship. You got abortion and a number of things other than taking a baby’s life,” a neighbor said. 

Memphis police told FOX13 that Miller was three months pregnant when she was shot and killed by Freeman. The fetus did not survive the shooting.

Freeman was arrested and charged with first-degree murder; he is scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning.

‘I just fired one': 84-year-old man shoots, kills home intruder

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

Intruder Killed By 85-Year-Old Man

An elderly man shot and killed one of two intruders at his home early Friday morning in Ellport, Lawrence County, police said.

The 84-year-old man, Don Lutz, was confronted by the intruders about 1:30 a.m. at his Jamison Avenue home, authorities said. An altercation followed.

>>RAW VIDEO: Man describes home invasion shooting

“I just fired one. It was in the dark. He attacked me and he was up close and I shot him,” Lutz said. “They jumped me and we both went on the floor. I scuffled with them on the floor and the one guy rolled over dead and the other guy, he jumped up and went out the door.”

Police investigate after an 85-year-old man's home was broken into. Police said that the man shot and killed one of the intruders. The other ran off.(WPXI.com)

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Police are searching for the second intruder who ran off.

“The other one, maybe the bullet hit him, too. I don’t know. I hope so,” Lutz said.

Lutz said he keeps his gun under his pillow. He’s a little sore, but otherwise in good spirits after the ordeal.

Investigators believe Lutz might have been targeted.

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Intruder killed by 84-year-old man was family member

Published: Saturday, December 09, 2017 @ 10:40 PM

Elderly Man Kills Intruder Who Was A Family Member

The intruder shot and killed by an elderly homeowner in Lawrence County early Friday morning has been identified as the shooter's nephew-in-law. 

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Investigators told Channel 11 the man has been identified as Dennis Mercadante, 49.

Mercadante was identified by using facial recognition by Pennsylvania State Police. 

Investigators said Don Lutz, 84, was confronted by two intruders, Mercadante and another suspect, at about 1:30 a.m. Friday at his Jamison Avenue home, and an altercation followed.

“I just fired one. It was in the dark. He attacked me and he was up close and I shot him,” Lutz said.

“They jumped me and we both went on the floor. I scuffled with them on the floor and the one guy rolled over dead and the other guy, he jumped up and went out the door.”

Police are still searching for the second suspect, who ran off. 

“The other one, maybe the bullet hit him, too. I don’t know. I hope so,” Lutz said.

US deportation flight returns from Africa with all on board

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 10:33 PM

File photo. Photo: (Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
File photo. Photo: (Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

The government’s efforts to deport 92 Somali nationals did not go as planned this week, when the flight encountered some snags in Senegal and returned to the U.S. with all on board.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement Saturday, saying relief flight crew members were “unable to get sufficient rest due to issues with their hotel in Dakar.” 

“The aircraft, including the detainees and crew on board, remained parked at the airport to allow the relief crew time to rest,” ICE said in its statement. “During this time, the aircraft maintained power and air conditioning, and was stocked with sufficient food and water. Various logistical options were explored, and ultimately ICE decided to reschedule the mission to Somalia and return to the United States with all 92 detainees. No further details are available at this time.” 

Omar Shekhey, the executive director for the Somali American Community Center in Clarkston, said as many as nine of those on the flight lived in Georgia. The Star Tribune reported as least four were from Minnesota.