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The Origins Of Fentanyl

Alabama Public Radio

Fentanyl can be a confusing drug.  Not only is its name often mispronounced (it's "fentan-ill"), but it's just hard to conceive of a drug so strong that a little bit can kill. 

And it does; fentanyl figured in the deaths of Tom Petty and Prince, and kills thousands of lesser-known people every year. 

Why IS there a drug roughly 50 times stronger than morphine and heroin?  These are among the questions researched by Ben Westhoff in the book Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic.  The research included visiting a fentanyl lab in China.  The author visits with details of the drug and what he found out about it.


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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.