Fentanyl (also known as fentanil) is a potent, synthetic opioid pain medication with a rapid onset and short duration of action. It is a strong agonist at the μ-opioid receptors. Fentanyl is estimated to be between 50 and 100 times as potent as morphine.
Beginning in 2015, Canada has seen a widespread issue of fentanyl overdoses country-wide. Authorities suspect that the drug is being imported from Asia to the western coast by organized crime groups in powder form and being pressed into fake OxyContin tablets. Traces of fentanyl have also been found in other recreational drugs including cocaine, MDMA, and heroin. The drug has been implicated in multiple deaths from the homeless to young professionals, including multiple teens and young parents. It cuts across all demographics and does not discriminate.