Why fentanyl is deadlier than heroin, in a single photo

Article by Julie Boyd appear in STAT

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Heroin and fentanyl vials
On the left, a lethal dose of heroin, on the right, a lethal dose of fentanyl

The opioid crisis just keeps getting worse, in part because new types of drugs keep finding their way onto the streets. Fentanyl, heroin’s synthetic cousin, is among the worst offenders.

It’s deadly because it’s so much stronger than heroin, as shown by the photograph above, which was taken at the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory. On the left is a lethal dose of heroin, equivalent to about 30 milligrams; on the right is a 3-milligram dose of fentanyl, enough to kill an average-sized adult male.


Fentanyl, Heroin