Fentanyl: A Full Guide To What It Is & How It’s Used

Fentanyl: A Full Guide To What It Is & How It’s Used

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid medication that is prescribed for severe pain. It is much stronger than both heroin and morphine. Most of the time this drug is prescribed after a surgery. However, there are some people who are opioid tolerant who will get a prescription for Fentanyl as well. Sometimes this drug is prescribed for treating terminal illnesses and cancer.

Fentanyl is widely abused around the world. Many drug dealers mix other drugs with Fentanyl to make the drug stronger. They might mix counterfeit pills, cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin with Fentanyl. There are many dangers to doing this. It can induce severe respiratory depression. It can also cause extreme drowsiness, addiction, unconsciousness, coma, or even death.

Even though Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, some abuse it by itself too. Some people abuse the patches, while others will smoke, inject, or snort the drug. Many people have overdoses on Fentanyl.  It is one of the most dangerous drugs available by prescription and illegally sold as well.

It is becoming increasingly popular among users and sellers. In fact, just this year the DEA raided a home that had enough fentanyl to kill 2 million people.

Fentanyl Epidemic and Other Problems

Many people want to know what is Fentanyl? It can be helpful to know more about the details related to this drug. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the overdose deaths related to Fentanyl doubled from the last half of 2016 to the first half of 2017. The problem is that most people who get hooked on prescription painkillers find that they need a cheaper and more potent high. They can get that from heroin. To go deeper, cheap heroin is mixed with fentanyl which is times stronger than morphine. This makes the heroin stronger but also puts many at risk from overdose.

One way to explain just how potent this drug can be is that it can negate the effects of naloxone, which is used to reverse an overdose from opioids. First responders usually have to use many naloxone doses to combat an overdose on Fentanyl. Sometimes that doesn’t even work. Another problem is that once someone is hooked on this drug, they need more and more to get the high they used to experience. Using more Fentanyl significantly increases the risk of overdosing. While there are prevention programs being used throughout the country, people are still abusing drugs. However, it is still important to educate the public on the dangers of Fentanyl and how life threatening this drug can be.

Unknown Fentanyl Use

Some people don’t even know they are using Fentanyl. Fentanyl is often mixed with a wide variety of drugs sold on the streets. A drug addict may get something laced with Fentanyl and not even know it. This increases the dangers because a user may take in a lethal dose of Fentanyl and nobody knows they have done so, except the drug dealer.

Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse

As mentioned previously, Fentanyl is much stronger than other opioids. It is very risky to start abusing this drug. No matter what form it is in when a person abuses it, the dangers are there. The time release patches can even lead to an overdose. Even if someone has a prescription for Fentanyl it can still be dangerous. Many users will heat up their patch to get stronger and faster effects from the drug. This increases overdose risks and could even be a fatal choice.

Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

When thinking about what is Fentanyl, it can be helpful to know how to recognize when someone is overdosing on Fentanyl. Some of the symptoms you might notice with Fentanyl overdose include the following:

  • Stumbling
  • Loss of coordination
  • Trouble with memory or cognition
  • Extreme sleepiness or fatigue
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Contracted pupils
  • Confused state
  • Coma

With many other drugs, symptoms of an overdose may occur gradually. However, since Fentanyl is much more potent, the overdose may happen much quicker. There may be no pre-existing symptoms that are recognized before the overdose occurs.

Side Effects of Fentanyl Abuse

What is Fentanyl? When talking about this drug, it is important to know more about the side effects of abusing it. Since this drug is so powerful, and stronger than heroin and morphine, it has a high addiction risk. Someone who abuses the drug or goes into withdrawal after using it may experience a range of side effects. Some of these side effects include the following:

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Changes in mood
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Poor coordination and balance
  • Abnormal thinking
  • Hallucination

These are some of the side effects of Fentanyl abuse. There are some people who are addicted to this drug who will open the patch and eat the gel beads inside. Others will illegally buy the drug. Most Fentanyl addicts will get scared when they think they won’t be able to get the drug.  If you or someone you know is abusing Fentanyl, you can get into a drug rehab in California or any other state in the country. Don’t wait for your addiction to become worse, give us a call or contact us today to find out how we can help you start living a clean and sober life.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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