Fentanyl: The Deadliest Opioid
Running Time: 18 Minutes
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This program arms viewers with the most updated information on fentanyl, an opioid drug responsible for thousands of accidental overdose deaths. The program describes how fentanyl is made in dirty, illegal labs and that drug dealers often mix it with heroin and sell it to whoever is looking for a cheap high. Viewers will learn that fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than heroin and only a minuscule amount, the equivalent of three grains of salt, can be deadly. Program also alerts viewers to a sister drug, carfentanil, which the Toronto Sun called “the drug of mass destruction,” because it is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and 10,000 times more powerful than morphine. This program speaks directly to young people in a way they will understand. The video delivers a strong no use message and exposes the hidden dangers of fentanyl-laced heroin and marijuana.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Human Relations Media has once again succeeded in presenting coverage of a timely and significant topic in an extremely accessible manner. There is no doubt about producer/director Scott Sniffen’s perspective for this program—fentanyl and other synthetic opiods are extremely dangerous and often deadly. Coming near the end of the video is an example that drives home the message best: in other Human Relations Media videos about the dangers of addictive drugs, they usually present recovered users to tell their stories. In making this program, users’ stories could only be relayed through the palpable sadness of parents who lost their children to fentanyl and carfentanyl use.
From the opening scenes of clips from television news programs to the chemical reasons for addiction to parental testimonies, this program provides a succinct and captivating overview of fentanyl. It reviews the differences between opiates, semi-synthetic opioids and synthetic opioid analgesics. The simple animations of what happens to the brain are clear and effective. The reasons for fentanyl entering the street drug trade are expounded as well as the ease with which it can be laced into other drugs such as heroin and marijuana, unbeknownst to users. The deadly properties of fentanyl and carfentanyl are explained, along with probably the deadliest reason—that first euphoric high that users are chasing can never be achieved again. Aimed at a middle school through young adult audience, this program is highly recommended for middle school, high school, community college and college library collections.
Reviewed by Lori Widzinski, Multimedia Collections and Services, University Libraries, University at Buffalo, State University of New York