In a shocking move, the FDA has approved a new opioid painkiller that is 10 times more potent than currently-available fentanyl painkillers, raising the possibility of getting an entirely new part of the population addicted to these deadly painkillers. While the drug won’t be available for prescription, it WILL be available to soldiers in combat, a group that is already at high risk of addiction. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


In a move that shows us that this administration really is not taking the opioid crisis seriously, the FDA recently approved a new opioid painkiller medication that’s actually 10 times more potent than Fentanyl, and Fentanyl is one of the most popular opioid medications in the United States, and this new one is 10 times more potent, which means that the likelihood of becoming addicted to this are increased exponentially. Here’s what the FDA has done here. They claim that this particular medication was necessary … It was necessary to approve this because it’s really going to come in handy for soldiers in the battlefield because it’s not an injection and it’s not a pill. It’s almost like, I guess you would describe it as like a little bit of film you put in your mouth. It immediately gets absorbed, and the solider can go on their way. You don’t have to wait on the pill. You don’t have to have a needle for an injection. You can just pop in this little piece of film in your mouth, and then you’ve got 10 times more opioids coursing through your veins than if you took regular Fentanyl.

This is also, according to the FDA, they’re not going to make it available in pharmacies here in the United States. You’re not going to be able to take this stuff home and OD on it. Instead, what you’re going to have to do is you’re going to have to go to a doctor, you’re going to have to go to the hospital. It’s going to have to be administered there. That doesn’t matter one bit. Here’s the thing. Here’s the crazy thing about addiction, right? When you can’t get your addiction in the usual way that you do, when you can’t get that fix, you go out and you try to get that fix elsewhere. That’s why we’ve seen so many people who are addicted to opioid painkillers end up switching to heroin when those opioids become no longer available. That’s what happens.

They go out and they try to find a better way to get that same feeling, to get that same kind of painkiller, to get their dose of opioids. Here, the FDA is telling us it’s perfectly fine, probably won’t even be used in the US that much. It’s mostly for these soldiers overseas, who are already at a higher risk of dependence, a higher risk of addiction. They’re going to be our guinea pigs, and then once we see how successful it is with them, we’re going to let the pharmaceutical lobbyists come in, tell us that everybody in the country should have this available, and then that’s likely what’s going to happen. Now, the FDA did not say that last part, but we’ve seen this happen enough times in this country to know exactly what kind of path we are on.

The FDA has made a grave mistake by approving this new medication, and it’s going to be a mistake that’s going to end up with a very high body count.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced