DEA Bans Two Substances November 2016

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug which took the United States by storm in 2016 after it gained infamous status when revealed as the type of drug which claimed the life of renown musician Prince. Since then, Fentanyl has practically become a household name. Parents, loved ones, spouses, and doctors, became frightfully aware of Fentanyl, it’s potency, and it’s potential.

Synthetic Opioids

Synthetic opioids are created to treat chronic pain patients who are unable to metabolize morphine. Morphine is the natural byproduct of opium. All morphine based medications are derived from the pain relieving properties produced by opium. Heroin is made from opium as well, though rarely rare. Opioid medications interact with the opioid receptors in the brain which signal the need to relieve pain. By lowering the heart rate, opioid receptors create a sense of calm and relief in the height of pain.


Since Fentanyl needs to be stronger than regular morphine, chemists in the laboratories where Fentanyl was first created made Fentanyl to be up to one hundred times more potent than morphine. For the average person who can metabolize and create their own morphine without a problem, this makes the substance particularly fatal. So fatal, that the Drug Enforcement Agency quickly schedule Furanyl Fentanyl, specifically, to be a Schedule I drug.

Schedule I drugs are controlled substances. Being listed on the Schedule I list makes a drug criminalized, meaning it cannot be manufactured, sold, or even used for research. Furanyl Fentanyl joins the likes of cocaine, marijuana, and other illicit drug substances.

Furanyl Fentanyl

Furanyl Fentanyl differs from regular prescription strength fentanyl. It is a chemical cousin of the prescription drug, one of many recent analogues. Since the popularity of Fentanyl began to rise, manufacturers overseas have created analogues of it to cut into regular drugs. Furanyl Fentanyl is cheap to produce, cheap for people to buy, and can be put into anything. Reports came in discovering Fentanyl in street level opioid pills as well as benzodiazepines.

Furanyl Fentanyl joins U-47700, a similar synthetic opioid, which the DEA put on the Schedule I list earlier in 2016. The Fentanyl found in recording artist Prince’s bloodstream was actually U-47700.

Keeping track of and adding all synthetic substances to the Schedule I list is a challenge for the DEA. Due to the chemical nature of the drugs, manufacturers are able to change the chemical formula. Constantly changing the chemical formula creates uncertainty in how the drug will affect users, but certainty that the government will have difficulty keeping up with them all.



Refuge Recovery provides detox, residential inpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization, as well as transitional services, to men and women with synthetic opioid addictions. Our step down program embraces a foundation of Buddhist spirituality while employing progressive scientifically based therapeutic treatments. For more information on our treatment programs in Los Angeles, California call 323-207-0276.

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