Published December 4, 2018 (News release from University of California – San Francisco)
Fentanyl likely spread because of heroin and prescription pill shortages, and because it was cheaper for large, illegal-drug producers to create than heroin, according to this report on illicit US drug markets. Because fentanyl is added to the supply higher up the dealer chain and is usually sold as heroin or brand-name prescription drugs, users and street-level dealers often don’t know whether they are taking or selling fentanyl-laced drugs. This means user demand likely plays little role in the drug’s spread and penalizing low-level dealers will not slow the overdose epidemic.
Canadian co-author:  Daniel Rosenblum, Dalhousie University –