If you’ve been watching the news lately, you might have heard about Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a drug that has been rising in popularity over the past few years, and it’s also one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. In fact, Fentanyl alone has been responsible for over in 2014.
If the drug is so dangerous, why are people still taking it? The main reason why people still use this drug is because of a lack of understanding of how it works. By educating people on what this drug is, and why it is so dangerous, we can help reduce a number of overdose deaths this terrible drug causes.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid that is in the same family as heroin. However, do not mistake this drug for heroin – it is much more dangerous. Fentanyl has been shown to be about 50 times as potent as heroin, which is much of the reason it is so sought after. When abused, it is usually cut or mixed with other drugs such as cocaine or heroine and goes under different names such as Bomb, Drop Dead or Lethal Injection.
Unlike heroin, Fentanyl was made for a good reason. Its original use was for dying patients. Doctors would administer Fentanyl, and its strong potency would make the patient’s dying experience painless. With its quick acting effects, it would make the process easier for the patient and with its potency, it would make all the pain go away.
It was actually the administration from doctors that led to the drug’s abuse. While the drug is a very effective method for dying patients to rid their pain, doctors starting prescribing it for other uses. When someone came out of surgery or received an injury, doctors started prescribing it to manage pain.
However, this was never the original intention of the drug. The drug, while fast acting, also wears off incredibly quick. It takes around five minutes to take effect, and once it hits it only lasts for around an hour. This is why it’s not a viable drug to manage long-term pain. While it’s very strong while it lasts, you would have to keep taking dosages in order to keep up its pain-killing abilities.
What Makes It So Dangerous?
Of course, once word got out that there was such a strong drug on the market – drug dealers took advantage. Not only was the medically made Fentanyl being illicitly sold – people started making their own Fentanyl labs. However, buying Fentanyl from these labs are even more deadly. The drug is much more complicated to make than other drugs such as crystal meth, and one mistake can be fatal for the user.
Like any opioid, Fentanyl was addicting. Once somebody was on Fentanyl for a while, lesser painkillers just didn’t have an effect on them anymore. This is also true with heroin users, who look for a stronger potency drug to get them over their opioid tolerance. However, it’s the potency that makes the drug so dangerous. When you have an opioid that is almost 50 times stronger than heroin, it’s easy to overdose. With Fentanyl labs rising in popularity, the drug is being made in ways that the potency is unknown. By the time the users realize the dosage is too strong – it’s too late.
It’s an Epidemic
Many are now considering the opioid epidemic the ‘Fentanyl’ epidemic. This is because Fentanyl use is actually overtaking heroin use in some areas. For example, the drug has killed 87 people in Maine – compared to 9 in 2013.
Even the DEA has issued a nationwide alert for the dangers of Fentanyl as a threat to health and public safety. This epidemic is a real issue that needs to be resolved. But how can we resolve it? The main issue is there is not enough education on the dangers of Fentanyl and the dangers it causes. We need to do a better job of educating people about this incredibly dangerous drug – otherwise, the death toll is just going to rise.
Fentanyl is a drug that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Deaths from overdoses are increasing nationwide, and more and more people are starting to abuse it. In order to take a stand against this dangerous drug, we need to start making more of an effort to educate people on what this drug is and why it is dangerous. What starts out as something prescribed to ease your pain, could potentially take away your life. If you know someone who is abusing Fentanyl, please do them a favor and get them some help. Kairos Healthcare deals with individuals and families who are struggling with drug addiction and takes the necessary steps to help them.