The opioid epidemic is still raging strong across the United States. More awareness is being brought to the dangers of prescription drug misuse and heroin. However, another drug is hitting the spotlight as well: fentanyl. While not a new drug – it has been around since the 1960s – it is gaining more attention due to its highly addictive nature and significant risk of overdose.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever similar to morphine, but 50-100 times more potent. In medical settings it is often prescribed as a powerful pain reliever for patients recovering from major surgery or accidents, or those with chronic pain due to conditions such as cancer. It prescribed in incredibly small doses – micrograms instead of the typical milligrams.
One of the problems with getting fentanyl on the street is that it is not as highly controlled. It is often cut with other drugs such as heroin or morphine, and measurements are estimates at best. Additionally, it is often passed off as other drugs. Individuals have no way of knowing exactly what substance they are receiving or how powerful it may be. This significantly increases the risk of overdosing. Naloxone can help to counteract the effects of fentanyl, but multiple doses are often necessary due to the potency of the fentanyl.
Individuals struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, heroin, fentanyl, or other opiates can enter a safe, supervised detox program at Above It All. This is the first step in treatment and preventing overdose or dangerous episodes of withdrawal. From there, clients can engage in a treatment program tailored to their needs in order to overcome addiction and effectively transition into recovery. There is help available for opioid addiction and recovery is possible. Fentanyl is a dangerous drug to get involved with, but clients can make their well-being a priority by getting the help they need for substance use and addiction at Above It All.
- WebMD, Fentanyl Video: What You Should Know About This Painkiller. Accessed April 14, 2016.
- Thompson, Dennis. WebMD, Fentanyl Fuels Latest Spike in Opioid Deaths. Revised March 29, 2018, Accessed April 3, 2016.
- Thompson, Dennis. WebMD, Memory Loss Hitting Some Fentanyl Abusers. Revised January 29, 2018, Accessed April 18, 2016.
- WebMD, Heroin Abuse & Addiction: Effects, Withdrawal Symptoms, Risks. Accessed April 5, 2016.
- WebMD, Reversing Drug Overdoses Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio). Accessed April 2, 2016.