Beware of Fentanyl

By Alex Lama, Commissioner

(August 3, 2022) – Fentanyl overdose has become the leading cause of death in the U.S. for adults ages 18-45, per the CDC, with deaths involving synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyl, rising from 50,000 in 2020 to 71,000 in 2022. Fentanyl is a synthetic drug that is very cheap to manufacture and can be 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroine. It is so potent that two milligrams of the drug, the equivalent of five grains of salt, could kill an adult. 

Making the problem worse, dealers often mix the fentanyl with other synthetic drugs to increase the addictiveness of their product. Another grave issue is that other illegal drugs such as cocaine, meth and heroine are mixed with fentanyl to increase product volume. As a result, many users may be unaware they could be consuming a deadly dose of fentanyl. 

In November 2020, a 19-year-old Hollywood, Florida resident died from ingesting Xanax laced with fentanyl he bought on social media; and during this past 4th of July weekend, residents of a small rural town outside of Tallahassee were shocked when nine people from their community died due to fentanyl consumption and another nine were treated for apparent fentanyl overdose. 

According to the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, 5,086 people died from fentanyl in the state in 2020, with South Florida accounting for the highest number of deaths. It is imperative we are all aware of this epidemic and understand we need to be vigilant and help mitigate its deadly effects on our society. 

Helpful Resources

Street words used for fentanyl: 

Apache, China Girl, China Town, China White, Dance Fever, Goodfellas, Great Bear, He-Man, Jackpot, Murder 8, and Tango and Cash. 

DEA chart decoding drug emojis on social media: 

Substance abuse and mental health help:

Contact Commissioner Alex Lama at or 305.792.1752.