Even if you’re only vaguely aware of the fentanyl crisis, chances are pretty good you know it’s a major epidemic that is killing too many people. Fortune reports that since 2013, fentanyl overdoses have increased a whopping 500%, and there are reports that some who overdose on designer drugs aren’t responding to antidotes like naloxone and narcan. 


The National Institute of Health is trying to figure out why some don’t respond to opioid antidotes, which many first response emergency workers regularly carry. In fact, a warning went through several states that naloxone may not work on some victims. 


One reason why narcan may not work with some strains of fentanyl, as TR explains, “Makers are constantly tweaking illegal fentanyl to avoid the DEA’s classification system, which limits access to certain compounds based on their medical use and potential to be abused.”  


Fentanyl is mostly made in China, and different strains of it have popped up in different areas in the States, which makes it harder for researchers and the law to keep track of. While the fentanyl crisis is difficult to fight as it is, the news makes the battle even harder.