There’s no question that fentanyl is becoming an increasingly serious problem in the United States. This powerful synthetic opioid is now responsible for more overdose deaths than any other drug and its presence is being felt in communities across the country.
While fentanyl might be relatively new to some, it’s actually been around for decades. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the history of fentanyl and how it became the epidemic it is today.
Fentanyl was created to treat sever pain, especially chronic pain requiring around-the-clock treatment. Though it provides a therapeutic benefit due to its potency, its power shouldn’t be underestimated. Fentanyl is 50 – 100 times more powerful than morphine and has been increasingly linked with opioid misuse and addiction.
In many cases, individuals who develop fentanyl addictions are unaware of the strength of this drug—mistakenly believing they are taking a less potent opioid even as their bodies become tolerant to the drug’s effects. For this reason, medical professionals should be sure that patients understand the risks of using fentanyl before prescribing it for use.
How Does Fentanyl Work?
Fentanyl works by reducing the pain signals sent to the brain and altering how the body responds to pain. This means it can be extremely helpful for treating patients in acute pain, including those with certain types of cancer and post-surgery recovery. Side effects such as drowsiness and confusion can present a hazard to some users. As with any type of medication, only experienced healthcare professionals should administer morphine, fentanyl, and other opioids in accordance with guides from the manufacturer and after weighing the risks.
It is no surprise that people who are looking for a strong high have also begun abusing the drug by either taking advantage of prescriptions or purchasing on the street. This problem has become so widespread that fentanyl and its similar synthetic drugs have been cited as contributing to a national drug crisis in many countries around the world. It has been linked to an alarming spike in related overdoses and fatalities and has become one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States.
Signs of a fentanyl overdose can include:
- Dizziness and confusion
- Low blood pressure
- Slurred speech
- Major depressive episodes
- Blue lips and nails
- Declining pulse
Another major issue is that when purchasing illicit drugs on the street there is no way to be certain of the substance’s makeup. This means that certain drugs may be laced with fentanyl without the user’s knowledge—making it hard to anticipate the dosage and effects.
Fentanyl is an incredibly powerful opioid that can be both beneficial and deadly depending on how it’s used. It has been approved for medical use to treat severe pain, but its potency makes it a high-risk drug when abused or misused. The presence of fentanyl in the illicit market has contributed to an alarming rise of overdoses and deaths over the past few years, making it essential to remain informed about this dangerous substance before ever considering using it.
Prevention is key when dealing with fentanyl abuse since even a small dose can prove highly addictive. However, treatment options are available for those who need help managing their addiction. Ultimately, understanding the risks associated with fentanyl will allow you to make educated decisions regarding your health and wellbeing – so spread awareness today!
If you or a loved one suffers from fentanyl addiction, turn to The Carter Treatment Center. We are an experienced recovery facility committed to finding personalized rehabilitation options throughout Georgia. Call us at (678) 737-4430 to learn more about our treatments.