Fentanyl is stronger than any other opiate drug, making it easy for opiate users to accidentally overdose.
The Most Dangerous New Drug That’s Much Stronger Than Heroin
The world was shocked by the death of the pop singer Prince in April 2016 at just 57 years old. The medical examiner later determined the cause of death was accidental overdose of a drug called Fentanyl. Prince’s death cast the issue of fentanyl abuse into the spotlight.
The average citizen may not have known much about fentanyl, one of the most dangerous schedule 2 narcotics, prior to the sad news about Prince. But law enforcement, public health officials and emergency medical professionals have been aware of the growing threat that fentanyl presents.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl belongs to the class of drugs called schedule 2 narcotics. It’s a synthetic opioid that is said to be 100 times more potent than morphine and up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. Schedule 2 narcotics are those drugs that are legitimate medical treatments which also have a high potential for abuse.
Fentanyl has actually been around since the 1960s and can be consumed through a variety of ways, such as patches, smoking and even lollipops. It is used legitimately in medical settings as an anesthetic. Like all opioids, it provides pain relief and can make the user feel euphoric and high.
If you suspect someone is abusing fentanyl, call our helpline at (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?).
Why Fentanyl is so Dangerous
Fentanyl is especially dangerous because of its potency. Even though opiate addicts have a higher drug tolerance, fentanyl is still much more powerful than any dosage of opiates they’re used to receiving. A dose of fentanyl can easily kill someone just because it’s so much stronger than other opiates.
Fentanyl can even be absorbed through the skin, making it even easier to receive an accidental overdose. Law enforcement officials and medical professionals can even get an accidental overdose by coming into contact with fentanyl through the skin or through inhaling it. Even very small amounts can cause overdose because the drug is so powerful.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the use of fentanyl is increasing—and so are associated deaths. Statistics from Florida showed a 36 percent increase in fentanyl related deaths just between 2012 and 2013. Similar rates are being seen in other states around the country.
Like other opiates, fentanyl presents a high risk of causing respiratory depression. This inability to breathe leads to death.
Showing Up Where It Doesn’t Belong
Even those who know about the risks of fentanyl may not always be able to avoid it if they’re taking other drugs, particularly if the drugs are obtained illegally. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, traffickers are flooding the U.S. market with counterfeit drugs, many of which contain fentanyl.
The buyers of these drugs often believe that they’re getting completely different drugs, such as Norco (hydrocodone), Oxycontin (oxycodone) or Xanax (alprazolam). These counterfeit drugs often look like real prescription drugs, but are much cheaper than drugs obtained from a legitimate, licensed pharmacy.
Some people are intentionally choosing to use fentanyl because of its potency, even though it’s also so much more dangerous. But many people are not aware that they’re getting fentanyl and believe that they’re taking other drugs with which they’re already familiar.
Choosing to take drugs that are obtained through illegal underground means puts an addict’s life in danger, especially now that fentanyl is becoming so common. There’s no way for the average user to test the pills they get to ensure their purity.
Breaking Free from Schedule 2 Narcotics
Dependency on opiate medication is always risky and dangerous. It doesn’t take long to build up a high tolerance to such drugs and legitimate prescriptions become harder to obtain. The addiction can only be maintained through relying on less trustworthy sources. This brings increased risk of accidental or intentional exposure to dangerous drugs like fentanyl.
Seeking treatment for addiction to schedule 2 narcotics shouldn’t be viewed as optional—it may be a literal matter of life and death. When you’re ready to seek help, call the caring professionals at (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?).