Fentanyl is a highly potent morphine-like drug, clinically used as a pain reliever for cancer patients or after painful surgical operations, as it is 100 times more potent than morphine (a strong pain medication also used to manufacture illegal drugs like heroin). This synthetic opioid was formed in 1959 by a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceutica) and has a long list of adverse side effects that include addiction, coma, respiratory depression, drowsiness, constipation, and death.
Fentanyl and its derivatives are responsible for most drug overdose deaths in the United States of America (USA), leading to over 70,000 reported fatalities in 2021.
According to BBC, a day care facility and its operators in New York City, USA are currently being investigated after a 1 year old child died due to fentanyl consumption. The child had been at the nursery for a few days before the unfortunate incident occurred on September 15, with the report citing 3 other children also hospitalized due to similar exposure.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) supposedly discovered 1 kilo of fentanyl under the bed where the children slept.