News from University of California, Irvine

Farah Khorassani provides expert insight at Lake Forest town hall on fentanyl

Farah Khorassani, UCI associate professor of clinical pharmacy practice, shared her insights at Lake Forest’s town hall on fentanyl Feb. 22, hosted by Assemblywoman Diane R. Dixon. A leading expert in the relationship between pharmaceuticals and mental health, Khorassani described the physiological process involved in the transition from prescription to addiction. “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. It’s addictive because it binds to receptors in the brain that control emotions and pain, producing a euphoric effect,” she said. “The dangers are in illicit forms, usually pressed into counterfeit pills, because only small amounts can lead to a fatality.” Other panelists included Rep. Young Kim; Sgt. Brian Gunsolley of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and Perla Mendoza, whose son Eli died of a fentanyl overdose.