The Deadly Truth About This Dangerous Drug
Many people have heard about Fentanyl but are not entirely sure what it is or the dangers of it. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is often used to lace cocaine and a host of other drugs. It became popular in the 1960s, being used as a strong painkiller while also being used to treat chronic pain. The dangerously powerful and potentially lethal drug has made its way into the black market and is claiming hundreds of lives daily.
So, how does fentanyl work? The drug mimics endorphins that are naturally found in the body and blocks the pain receptors, creating a ‘feel good’ and dream-like state. Fentanyl is:
- 50 times stronger than heroin
- 100 times stronger than morphine
Needless to say, the drug can be lethal and this is further reiterated by the drug epidemic that is present today. Fentanyl is a huge contributor to the drug epidemic that is sweeping the nation as many individuals who purchase illicit drugs off of the street do not realize that what they are purchasing is actually cut with this powerful drug.
The drug is cultivated in Mexico and China where, all too often, it is sold to purchasers as heroin without them knowing. It can also be formed into pills which resemble drugs that are in demand such as Xanax and Oxy. When individuals purchase these drugs thinking that they are the real thing, they have a high chance of overdosing as fentanyl is much more potent than the common prescription painkillers.
Even if an addict knows that the drug they are taking may be laced with fentanyl, they may still take the drug as it is a means to get ‘high’. This is extremely dangerous as overdose as a result of this drug is what is driving the drug epidemic in the U.S.
What Sets Fentanyl Apart
Comparable drugs such as morphine and heroin differ from fentanyl in that fentanyl only takes a few minutes to become effective whereas morphine and heroin take longer. Since fentanyl is so incredibly potent, it takes a smaller amount to overdose. Paramedics, as well as many restaurants and establishments, carry an opioid antagonist such as Narcan. This nasal spray can reverse an opioid overdose if it is caught in time. The opioid epidemic is so bad that even households of addicts now carry the FDA-approved nasal spray.
There are instances where fentanyl is legal. The drug can be prescribed by doctors to those who are in extreme chronic pain or individuals who are struggling with cancer or terminal illness.
Side Effects of Fentanyl
There are several side effects of Fentanyl in those who take it without a prescription. Some of the consequences of the drug are:
- Reduced heart rate
Fentanyl should only be used if it prescribed by a doctor and should never be abused as you are putting yourself in an extremely dangerous situation.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, help is available. A treatment program can help you effectively recover from your addiction or substance abuse issues.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.