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Detroit Legal Blog

What Is Fentanyl?

Jun 23, 2017, by Maurice Davis in Drug Crimes, Legal Blog

As a powerful opioid, the Michigan legislature has scheduled fentanyl as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Its classification refers to the high potential for this drug to be abused and cause severe dependence while also currently accepted in a limited way for medical use. Fentanyl is often given as a prescription narcotic medicine to help minimize the pain experienced by cancer patients.

The drug operates by binding opioid receptors which are very small areas in the brain and spinal cord – the central nervous system. The result is a reduction in the pain you actually feel and your reaction to it. It is a central nervous system depressant which relaxes the brain and body.

However, this drug is very potent whether used legally or illegally and has the potential to cause severe addiction and even death if its use is not strictly controlled.

If you are facing an allegation of criminal wrongdoing related to fentanyl possession, use, or distribution, you’ll want to have a Detroit drug lawyer on your side who will vigorously fight to protect your rights. Allow our experienced team at Davis Law Group to work on your behalf for the reduction, or if possible, the elimination of the potential consequences of the charges against you.

Call us today at (313) 818-3238 to request a free consultation about your drug charge in Michigan.

Fentanyl Methods of Ingestion

As a medicinal application for pain reduction, fentanyl can be used as an anesthesia given through an IV before or during surgery. In addition, the drug can be received orally in the form of a lozenge, lollipop, film, tablet, or transdermal with the medicine administered through the skin into the bloodstream. It can also be taken as a nasal spray. Fentanyl is also offered in powder form – it is water soluble and can be mixed as a solution and administered.

Fentanyl Potency

Even though it has accepted medical applications, just as with other dangerous controlled substances, when used illegally, fentanyl can become extremely addictive. In fact, this drug, which is derived from morphine, is actually 100 times more powerful morphine. It is also about 50 times stronger than heroin. Any individual using fentanyl for nonmedical purposes is very likely to quickly overdose on this drug.

Mixing With Other Drugs

The very high potency of fentanyl, especially when it is used in combination with other narcotics such as heroin or cocaine, gives the user a high which is very addictive. Overdose deaths can occur very quickly with this drug due to its extreme potency whether used alone or mixed with other powerful opiates.

If fentanyl is taken in place of other less powerful narcotics, or if it is mixed with a substance like heroin, the result is an increase in the dosage of opiates in the body – which can lead to extreme addiction or death by overdose.

A terrible fact is that many overdoses involving fentanyl have occurred due to the person struggling with an addiction to another opiate such as heroin not knowing they have taken fentanyl in any quantity. Heroin laced with fentanyl can quickly cause overdose and possibly death.

Penalties for Illegal Possession, Use and Distribution

The illegal possession, purchase, selling or distribution of a Schedule ll controlled substance such as fentanyl is prosecuted by the state of Michigan very severely. Prosecutions and convictions regarding these substances are generally based on the user or distributor’s intent in addition to the quantity of the substance involved. The potential penalties for the legal possession, use and distribution of fentanyl and other similar narcotics include:

  • Less than 50 grams – 1 to 20 years in prison
  • 50 to 225 grams – 10 to 20 years in prison
  • 225 to 650 grams – 20 to 30 years in prison
  • More than 650 grams – 20 years to life in prison

Contact a Skilled and Experienced Detroit Drug Lawyer

At Davis Law Group, we provide vigorous representation for individuals charged with various types of drug offenses. You can count on our considerable know-how and experience defending the rights of clients facing similar legal circumstances as you are facing right now. We have experience working on the prosecution side of the fence and therefore can apply our understanding of how the prosecution is likely to approach your case in order to build you a strong defense and fight hard for the least consequences possible, which could potentially include anything from a lesser conviction to complete dismissal.

Call us today at (313) 818-3238 for a free consultation to discuss your drug charge and your legal options going forward.