“In 2002, Chechen terrorists took 800 people hostage in Moscow Theater, and Russian special forces devised a peculiar way to subdue them. The tactical team gassed the theater with two types of fentanyl, an opioid known for its extreme strength. One version was 2,000 to 5,000 times as potent as heroin.
The gas killed 125 of the 800 hostages during the siege.
Fast forward 15 years, and fentanyl and its derivatives have become the primary driver of overdose deaths in the U.S. These fentanyls caused synthetic opioids to account for one-third of all drug-related deaths in 2016, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. That’s a 700 percent increase from five years ago for manufactured opioids.
This surge in illicit fentanyl presents a new challenge for families and medical professionals trying to keep loved ones from the harm of opioid misuse. And it’s unclear if the most validated defense for opioid misuse — medication-assisted therapies like naloxone, methadone and buprenorphine — can stem the surge of overdoses caused by fentanyl.”
Source: PBS.org – December 11, 2017