A New York Times article cites a surge in deaths from fentanyl. The prescription drug is intended for use as pain medication for cancer patients and as an anesthetic for surgery. “Nearly half of all unintentional drug overdose deaths in [New York City] since July have involved fentanyl,” according to the city’s health department.  Much of the drug supply is made in illicit labs here and in Mexico, and as more of it ends up on the street,  the death toll rises. Even very small amounts of this synthetic opioid can be deadly. As the story notes, “The drug is so powerful that law enforcement officers have to wear gloves when searching for it, as just a tiny bit can get into the skin and, depending on the amount, can be fatal.”