Fentanyl causes overdose boom in Estonia

Fentanyl is a quick-acting synthetic narcotic analgesic with a potency at least 80 times that of morphine. Fentanyl is an extremely powerful OPIOID that relieves pain like the various drugs created from the opium plant. NarTest Drug Analyzer NTX2000 detects 3-methylfentanyl and fentanyl within minutes.

Fentanyl and its salts are  white granular or crystalline powders.  Illicit forms include a light yellow powder called “White Persian” or “China White”. It contains 3-methylfentanyl (3-mf). Indeed, fentanyl and its structural analogues are one of the most unpredictable, addictive, and deadly of illegal drugs.

In Europe, Officials in Estonia reported that fentanyl and 3-mf had replaced heroin as the main opioid of abuse in that country. The majority of drug-related deaths are due to the use of fentanyl made in clandestine laboratories just across the border in Russia and smuggled into Estonia.

The abuse of, and trafficking in, fentanyl and its structural analogues were also reported in USA, Ukraine and in Russia. (UN, 2006).

Fentanyl is most commonly used orally, but like heroin, can also be smoked, injected or snorted. Apart from analgesia, the fentanyl and its derivatives as a group produce drowsiness and euphoria, the latter being less pronounced than with heroin and morphine. The most common side effects include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, fatigue, headache, constipation, anaemia and peripheral oedema (EMCDDA, 2008).


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