Though fentanyl may be new to many people due to the sudden coverage of it in the nightly news, fentanyl is not new to many chronic pain patients. Morphine based medications like most prescription opioid painkillers, don’t work for everyone. Some people aren’t able to metabolize the morphine and receive the analgesic effects of the medication. For such individuals, fentanyl was created.
Fentanyl Is A Synthetic Opioid
As a synthetic, fentanyl allows pain patients to experience pain relief in the same way that non-synthetic opioids help others. On order to be effective, fentanyl has to be strong. Most reports suggest that fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than regular morphine, which is already significantly stronger than heroin. As a synthetic drug, it is easy for drug manufacturers to mess around with the formula and create even stronger analogs to the drug, making it a dangerous opioid alternative.
Fentanyl Is Getting Stronger
Fentanyl has been dangerously strong since it was first introduced to the black market. Since fentanyl has gained popularity, overseas manufacturers have started creating stronger versions of it, while combining it with other synthetic substances. Over the last year there has been one deadly strain of synthetic opioid after another, each increasing in potency and strength. Most recently, officials have reported on what they call “Gray death” which is a combination of all the lethal synthetic substances put into one drug.
Fentanyl Is Undetectable
Synthetic opioids like fentanyl have posed such a serious risk to first responders because it is undetectable. As fentanyl grows stronger, it is causing overdose simply through inhaling it in the air, or skin absorption. Tasteless, colorless, and odorless, fentanyl can end up anywhere, as well as in any drug. Aside from being sold as its own drug, fentanyl has been found in different drugs, where an opioid doesn’t belong. Cut into cocaine, heroin, and benzodiazepines, many have faced overdose who were not expecting to get high on fentanyl.
Fentanyl Causes Immediate Overdose
When an opioid addict goes to shoot up heroin, they might not know that it is laced with fentanyl. Almost immediately, they overdose. First responders have faced difficulty in overdose cases because airborne fentanyl has caused overdose. Strains of fentanyl and fentanyl drugs like Gray Death are so severe in overdose that opioid drug reversals medications like Narcan do not work.
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