One of the three drugs responsible for creating the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic other than prescription pain pills and heroin is fentanyl.
What is Fentanyl and what are treatments for its rehabilitation?
Fentanyl is an opiate, a type of drug made from the opium poppy. These can include illegal drugs like heroin.Other opiates can be scheduled substance like morphine and codeine. Although there are medicinal form of fentanyl, it is highly abused and even more so in recent years due to its importation, lacing. Its impact on the brain and central nervous system is immense.
How Fentanyl Affects the Brain
The brain has receptors that work with endorphins. Opiates work like endorphins on these receptors but are stronger than what the brain produces. Opiates create a numbing effect, pleasure, relaxation and even a sense of euphoria, but can also slow or even stop breathing. The feeling of euphoria and numbing might create habits and addictions. Decreased breathing can be dangerous or even lethal.
What is Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 99 times more potent than morphine and up to 60 times more potent than heroin. It is both a prescribed drug, as well as a drug that is at times made and used illegally. When prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl can be given as a shot by a nurse, as lozenges that are sucked like cough drops or as patches on the skin.
What are medical uses for Fentanyl?
It is prescribed in the event of chronic, severe pain derived from nerve damage, back injury, cancer, major trauma, surgery and for people who have developed a tolerance to other opioids and those sometimes for insomnia.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate that is up to 99 times more potent than morphine and up to 60 times more potent than heroin. It is both a prescribed drug, as well as a drug that is at times made and used illegally. When prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl can be given as a shot by a nurse, as lozenges that are sucked like cough drops or as patches on the skin.
Medicinal fentanyl comes in a number of different forms and strengths including:
transdermal patches (Durogesic® and generic versions)
intravenous injection (Sublimaze®).
Illegal Fentanyl and the Black Market
The black market manufactures a synthetic form of fentanyl with heroin-like effects that threaten the wellbeing of millions.
This illegally manufactured fentanyl is sold illegally as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays, or made into counterfeit pills that resemble other prescription opioids.
Roots of the Fentanyl crisis
The Fentanyl Epidemic
The current fentanyl “epidemic” is actually an escalation of an existing problem. Doctors are now realizing that many legal opiate-based medications were over-prescribed. Fentanyl may have hit the news with alarming numbers of overdoses, but it is actually part of a bigger opiate crisis in North America and Europe.
Why is Fentanyl a Threat
Fentanyl Side Effects
Fentanyl is dangerous because it’s being used by many people without a prescription. In fact, a large number of people are using synthetic Fentanyl which has been produced in the black market as a recreational drug.
This type of use results quickly independence, which can then lead to Fentanyl abuse and overdose. Many users will also mix Fentanyl with other illegal drugs, prescribed medication, and alcohol and increase their chances of health issues or overdose.
Addicts often mix it with heroin or cocaine to induce euphoria.
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