Did you know that fentanyl is responsible for most opioid overdose deaths in the United States? According to reports, this powerful opioid was responsible for the death of Prince the music legend. But what is fentanyl? What is it used for? Keep reading to learn more about this drug.
It is a very potent opioid drug that is available as a prescription. It is mostly a very powerful painkiller that was developed in the 1960s for use in the treatment of severe pain. According to studies, fentanyl can be 50 times more powerful compared to morphine.
Fentanyl comes with several street names. They include:
According to reports, the most fentanyl available in the market is manufactured in illegal labs in Mexico and China and shipped to nations such as the United States. Fentanyl can be laced with heroin and sold to unsuspecting buyers.
Doctors can prescribe fentanyl for anesthesia or as a pain reliever. Note that for someone to get fentanyl, he or she has to be opioid tolerant. Fentanyl is mostly recommended to cancer patients, patients undergoing surgery or those suffering from chronic pain and require around the clock opioids.
Fentanyl is a controlled substance that can be legally obtained as a patch, lollipop, injection or lozenge.
Additionally, fentanyl is also abused as a recreational drug. However, it is important to know that this drug is very powerful and can lead to severe side effects.
Just like most opioids, fentanyl can lead to certain severe side effects. They include:
Just like most opioids fentanyl binds to opioid receptors in the brain parts that control emotions and pain. It enhances the dopamine levels in the brain thus causing euphoria.
Just like any opiate, using fentanyl can enhance the dependency risk and cause addiction and abuse. Failure to take fentanyl as prescribed or if you abuse it accidentally or illegally, even a tiny dose can lead to death.
Since fentanyl is extremely potent, drug vendors will mix it with heroin, Xanax, or such drugs and deceive unsuspecting users. This can be very dangerous and can lead to fatal side effects.
According to reports, a single fentanyl strain is extremely potent and you can die just from exposure. Same report suggests that most drugs sold under the name fentanyl are not pure fentanyl.
In high doses, fentanyl can affect your breathing and end up killing you.
Overdosing on fentanyl can lead to fatal side effects. Some of the symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include:
If you suspect you or someone close to you has overdosed, call 911 or seek immediate medical help. Some of the first aid measure include administering naloxone a drug that counters the fentanyl overdose effects. It does so by blocking the opioid receptors. However, it is important to note that some fentanyl strains can be so deadly to a point they are not affected by naloxone.
Although naloxone can help, the only safe way to avoid overdosing is getting help with addiction and abuse.
The measures that the United States is taking to fight the illegal fentanyl spread
After several seizures by the DEA, the authorities have banned some of the substances used in the manufacture of fentanyl. However, reports suggest that clandestine labs are replacing these substances with other illegal and unregulated variants. The DEA has also established tough guidelines on how to handle fentanyl if it is obtained legally.
Additionally, most states, cities and counties have eased the accessibility of the drug naloxone in case of an overdose, toughened the laws when it comes to fentanyl sale as well as increased the funding to support opioid addiction treatment.
Fentanyl is a readily available drug for patients who qualify to use the drug. A doctor can prescribe fentanyl to cancer patients dealing with severe pain, those undergoing painful surgery or those dealing with chronic pain. You need to talk to a doctor to establish if you qualify to take fentanyl. Remember that all patients must be tolerant to opioids before taking fentanyl.
When it comes to obtaining fentanyl for recreational uses, the drug might not be easily available. One of the reasons is because the authorities have toughened the laws regarding the possession and sale of fentanyl. Even the street vendors do not want to risk getting into trouble with the authorities. Selling fentanyl illegally attracts long jail terms and hefty fines.
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Fentanyl is a very powerful opioid. It is more powerful than all the other prescription opioids. If you are not careful, it can lead to a fatal overdose and even death. It is important to ensure that you are taking it exactly as prescribed. If you are obtaining it illegally make sure that you are buying top quality drug that is not mixed with other substances. Doing so reduces the risk of an overdose and other fatal side effects. The trick is buying fentanyl from reputable vendors.