Everyone is familiar with heroin, cocaine, and morphine. Commonly demonised and at times glamorised, these organic substances have been used and readily available for decades. However, recently a synthetic opioid, fentanyl, has seen increased use globally, both medically and recreationally.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid made from readily available chemical precursors is typically used to treat severe and chronic pain in cancer patients. In 2006, fentanyl became more widely available when the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme expanded the approved use of fentanyl for other chronic pain, including nerve damage and major trauma. Unfortunately, whilst this novel form of pain relief may have its benefits, the expansion of the use of fentanyl began an ever-increasing trend of dangerous use and harmful consequences.
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