What Is Fentanyl
Fentanyl also spelled as fentanil, is an opioid (opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Some opioid are made from the plant directly while others like fentanyl are use as a pain medication and together with other medication for anesthesia. Fentanyl is similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more powerful. It is a prescription drug that is also illegally use.
Fentanyl is a medicine that’s use to treat patients with severe pain, especially after surgery, and sometimes use to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioid (this is when you need a higher dose of a drug to get the desired effects). Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now the most drugs that causes overdose death in the United States. In 2017, 59% of opioid related deaths were caused by fentanyl. In its prescription form, fentanyl goes with names such as; Actiq, Sublimaze and Duragesic. Its street names will include; Apache, China Girl, Tango & Cash, Goodfellas, Dance fever, Jackpot, Friend, and Murder 8.
How to Use Fentanyl.
When legally prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl can be given as a lozenges that are sucked, as shot, or a patch that I put on a person’s skin.The illegally used synthetic fentanyl is made in labs and old illegally as powder, nasal sprays, made into pills, put in eye droppers, or dropped onto papers. Some illegal drug dealers mix fentanyl with other drugs like cocaine, MDMA, heroin and meth, so as to reduce the cost of production and maximize their profits. Since it takes little to produce a high with fentanyl. This is very risky especially when the person taking it isn’t aware, since they might be taking a stronger opioid than their body is used to.
Effects of Fentanyl
Like other opioids, fentanyl binds the body opioid receptors which are found in areas like of the brain that controls pain and emotions. After taking opioids many times the brain adapts to the drug, reducing its sensitivity. Making it to only feel pleasure from the drug, so when there become addicted, drug use take over their lives.
Some of the effects of fentanyl may include;
Constipation and problems breathing.
Overdose and Treatment of Fentanyl
An overdose occurs when more than the dose required is been consumed and the drug produces serious hostile effects and life-threatening symptoms. When people overdose on fentanyl, their breathing can slow or stop. This can reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the brain, a condition called hypoxia. As a result it can lead to coma, permanent brain damage and even death. Due to the fact that most illegal dealers mix their fentanyl with other drugs as mentioned above, it is often difficult to know which is causing the overdose.
Naloxone is the drug use to treat fentanyl overdose when administer immediately. It quickly binds with opioid receptors and block the effects of opioid drugs. But, since fentanyl is stronger than other opioid drugs multiple dosage of naloxone might be required. Addiction and Treatment of Fentanyl The high potency of fentanyl has made the drug to be very addictive. A person taking fentanyl as prescribe by the doctor can experience dependence, which is mostly characterize by withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped. Though a person can be dependent on a substance without being addicted, dependence most often lead to addiction.
Addiction is the most severe form of SUD (substance use disorder). These SUDs are characterize by uncontrolled drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. An SUD can range from mild to severe. Severe withdrawal symptoms can begin hours after the drug was lastly taken for addicts who stopped using the drug. These symptoms include; severe craving, muscle and bone pain, cold flashes with goose bumps, sleeping problem, diarrhea and
vomiting and uncontrolled leg movement. These symptoms can be very uncomfortable and are the reasons many people find it difficult to stop the consumption of the drug.
Medication with behavioral therapies have shown to be successful in the treatment of fentanyl addicts. Medications like Buprenorphine and Methadone binds to the opioid receptor inthe brain as fentanyl, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
While the behavioral therapy for addiction to fentanyl can help
people modify their attitude and behaviors related to drug use
and help them stick with their medications. This behavioral
approach have proven successful especially when used along with
Points to note• Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is similar to
morphine but 50 – 100 times stronger. Its prescribe for
severe pain, but it’s also abuse illegally
• Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most
common drugs involve in overdose death, with
fentanyl causing 59% of opioid drug overdose death in
• Illegal fentanyl are sold in the streets in the following
forms; nasal spray, in eye droppers, made as pills, as
• Illegal fentanyl is being mixed with other drugs like
cocaine, heroin etc. Which makes it more dangerous
because people are often unaware of the mixture.
• Fentanyl works by binding the body’s opioid receptors
which are found in the brain area that controls pain
and emotions.• Naloxone is a drug use to reverse a fentanyl overdose,
and multiple naloxone doses maybe needed because
of the high potency of fentanyl
• Medications with behavioral therapy have proven to
be successful in treating fentanyl addicts