Fentanyl Addiction: Fentanyl is a narcotic painkiller becoming more in the spotlight of drug usage currently. Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine. This prescription opioid painkiller is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it: “ has a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” (DEA) It is considered as dangerous as cocaine, Vicodin, OxyContin, and Adderall. The reaction for the addict renders the user euphoric and numb both mentally and physically. It is often found as a powder which can be melted into a liquid and administered like a heroin injection. The prescription brand names that are legally manufactured are Duragesic, Actiq, Abstral, Lazanda, and Subsys. Fentanyl in its non-pharmaceutical version is often added to heroin and cocaine and injected. It has many street names including Apache, China Girl, Dance Fever, Goodfella, Jackpot, TNT, and Tango.
Since fentanyl dosage is a delicate matter, lethal at doses as small as 0.25 mg, many patient’s biological factors affect its effects. Highly addictive, fentanyl impacts the brain’s reward centers and even with medical supervision addiction and dependency can develop. When the street mix of this drug is added to heroin called “magic” or “bomb” , it has a huge chance of producing life-threatening problems. These include coma, respiratory arrest, and overdose behaviors. Just a few tiny granules of fentanyl can result in overdose, which makes it difficult to understand the difference in the amount to produce a high and the amount that will result in overdose. Fentanyl deaths skyrocketed between 2014-1015 with 2016 statistics producing an increase of 70%. Fentanyl “lollipops”, a lozenge taken orally, are handed out at posh parties in the Hollywood scene makes the candy-like appearance very normal. There are also discretely worn fentanyl patches that adhere to the skin like a nicotine patch. Music superstar Prince died in 2016 at the age of 57 from a fentanyl overdose. Prince’s death brought attention to this relatively unknown drug and its usage and overdose potential.
Fentanyl is rapidly taking a large part of the drug scene, and needs to be understood of its huge potential risk. Being aware of its greater threat due to the lack of ability of its reactions on each individual person is necessary. And not being able to identify it being added to heroin and cocaine that is purchased on the street makes it an even greater risk. Lets work together and fight Fentanyl Addiction.
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