Dangers of Fentanyl Laced Drugs
Over many decades, one substance being laced with another has been a problem for illicit drug users worldwide. Sometimes drugs are combined in at least a somewhat controlled fashion, but in most cases, the user has no idea what exactly they are getting or what quantity.
Street drugs are often laced with another substance that is used as a cutting agent. This cutting agent can be as common as laundry detergent or much more dangerous, like Fentanyl, a powerful substance in the opioid family. Street drugs are inherently dangerous due to the lack of knowledge a user has regarding the potency of the substance. When drugs laced with Fentanyl appear, the danger can multiply exponentially.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the poppy plant and work in the brain to produce various effects, including pain relief for legitimate uses and euphoria for illicit consumption. Fentanyl is reported to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, which itself is already a powerful pain reliever, often only used in severe cases by healthcare professionals.
Fentanyl has appeared in street drugs like cocaine and heroin and prescription drugs used in the last few decades, including Percocet and Oxycodone illicitly. Fentanyl is a Schedule II prescription drug used for both pain management and as a recreational drug due to its rapid onset and effects.
What Drugs Can be Laced with Fentanyl?
Drugs laced with Fentanyl have become highly prevalent. The purpose of cutting or lacing one drug with another, like Fentanyl, all comes down to profit. When a substance is cut with Fentanyl or one of many other benign or dangerous agents, the cost of manufacturing the product is reduced.
Not only are cocaine and heroin often laced with Fentanyl, but counterfeit prescription medications sold on the black market are, too. Whether they are major distributor organizations or individuals, illegal drug producers often walk a fine line between making the most money possible and causing overdoses within their client base. Overdoses, especially when they occur in large numbers over a short period, can bring media attention to the continuing drug epidemic in the United States and other countries, but at a horrible cost.
Risk of Overdose From Fentanyl Laced Drugs
No matter what substance a person is abusing, there is always the risk of overdose, especially with drugs laced with Fentanyl. This is due to three main factors.
First, a person can overdose even the first time they try a drug, depending on the substance, due to the potency of what they take. Second, even someone who has been abusing a substance for some time can binge, using more than they usually do, and overdose. Third, the substance an individual typically uses could be laced with another drug, like Fentanyl.
This last category of overdoses can occur due to drug producers changing their formula to increase profits. Even if an individual substance abuser buys from the same supplier and is consistent and careful about how much of a drug they use, they can still risk overdose from a Fentanyl laced drug.
Preventing a Fentanyl Overdose
When a person is abusing drugs of any kind, detox and rehab treatment are the best options for avoiding a possible overdose. If this is not immediately possible or the person in question is resistant to beginning treatment, there are other actions family members or loved ones can do.
First, people in a person’s circle can make sure they are checked on regularly and never left alone for long periods. Also, having emergency Naloxone (Narcan) available, which first responders and hospitals use, is an excellent option to avoid a tragedy. However, getting into professional addiction treatment remains the best option.
If you’d like more information about Fentanyl, overdose prevention, detox, or rehab treatment, please contact us or visit any of our locations at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab.
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.