Fentanyl-assisted treatment: A possible role in the opioid overdose epidemic? By Geoff Bardwell, Evan Wood, and Rupinder Brar

Beletsky L, Seymour S, Kang S, Siegel Z, Sinha MS, Marino R, Dave A, Freifeld C. Fentanyl panic goes viral: The spread of misinformation about overdose risk from casual contact with fentanyl in mainstream and social media. Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Sep 16;86:102951. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102951. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32949901; PMCID: PMC7492952.


Fentanyl fear, fueled by false information, has damaged public health by making overdose rescue more difficult and by justifying harsh criminal penalties, unnecessary spending, and plans to restrict essential access to pain medication. We evaluate the misinformation regarding the health risks associated with casual encounter with fentanyl by characterizing its excess visibility and diffusion in mainstream and social media.