Fentanyl is a powerful pain reliever, 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is often used to treat patients after surgery, cancer patients, and those suffering chronic pain. Fentanyl can be found in many forms such as a patch, lozenges, or via an injection. This drug is only prescribed by doctors but people who begin to suffer an addiction are finding ways to produce fake prescriptions.
Fentanyl is called by many different names on the streets. Just a few of these names include:
- China Girl
- Murder 8
- Dance Fever
Fentanyl addicts like the drug due to the potency and feeling they get from the high. On the streets, fentanyl can be found as a powder, on blotter paper, mixed with heroin, or in pills that mimic other opioid medications. It can be smoked, snorted, or taken orally. Once the hit is taken a person can have a euphoric feeling. Fentanyl works by attaching itself to the opioid receptors in the brain. The release of dopamine in the brain gives off a feeling of relaxation. Other symptoms of fentanyl use include drowsiness, a sedative state, constipation, and confusion.
Fentanyl addiction is dangerous because the part of the brain that is affected by this opioid is the same ones which control our breathing. With the high potency of fentanyl, an overdose likely would cause a person to stop breathing. Fentanyl sold on the streets are more likely to be mixed with heroin or cocaine, also making a risk of overdose reaches higher percentages.
Fentanyl addicts will exhibit outward signs which can help lead a family to get them help. These signs include:
- Pinpoint pupils
- Weight loss
- Slurred speech
- Itching and scratching
Other signs can become seen as the addiction progresses. These are more dangerous. They include muscle stiffness, laboured breathing, fainting, trouble walking, and slow/altered heart rate. Fentanyl can lead to a loss of consciousness, a coma, or death.
Fentanyl addictions can happen to people of all ages. According to reports, it is shown that over 300,000 people ages 12 and over have misused fentanyl. The percentages of death have increased 115%. With these statistics, our society can see how dangerous this drug is. Once again, a drug which can have a great success in helping patients with pain issues has sadly turned into a drug that has to be closely monitored.
There is hope for those with a fentanyl addiction. If an addict wants to quit it is highly suggested they not do it alone. The withdrawal can be excruciating on their own. There are different methods in which to treat an addict. As an addict, it may seem impossible to fight but it’s not. Fentanyl addictions are treatable and one can regain their lives again.