In 2017, Florida lawmakers passed a bill that requires mandatory minimum sentencing for any person possessing fentanyl. Those possessing between 4 and 14 grams of the synthetic opioid face at least three years in prison. Possession of between 14 and 28 grams entails a 15-year sentence, while possession of more than 28 grams involves a 25-year sentence.

While mandatory minimum sentencing remains controversial, there is no denying that fentanyl is a very powerful and dangerous drug. This has much to do with its high abuse potential, as well as its potency, which is often much greater when compared to other opiates, including heroin and morphine.

How is fentanyl used?

Much like other opiates, fentanyl can be used as a painkiller in a medical setting. When taken illegally, it is often combined with other illicit substances to induce a greater high. This includes heroin, cocaine, and MDMA. The drug is extremely dangerous when combined with other substances, as the user may gravely underestimate the risk involved in taking it.

What is the overdose risk?

Fentanyl decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain, which is similar to other opiates. However, smaller amounts of fentanyl are linked to a greater risk of overdose. Taking too much of the drug is associated with a number of dangerous effects, including the risk of permanent brain damage, coma, and loss of life.

What are the signs of fentanyl addiction?

Due to its potency, the chance of becoming addicted to fentanyl is quite high with frequent usage. Dependence can occur quickly, and once it occurs it is extremely difficult to stop using the substance. This is due to fentanyl’s withdrawal effects, which can include vomiting, problems sleeping, cold flashes, and restless leg movements.