Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is used as an analgesic for patients post-surgery and is much more potent than heroin and 15 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states, “It is a schedule II prescription drug, and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery.” Also, it is used to treat patients with chronic pain.
Fentanyl is highly addictive, and people can fall prey very quickly to fentanyl addiction. People who use more fentanyl than prescribed seek the drug for its powerful pain relief and relaxing effects. Fentanyl abuse can lead to serious health complications, overdose, or early death.
Some people who are addicted to fentanyl mix it with other substances, such as heroin or cocaine to heighten the drug’s effects. When combined with these drugs, the user is at risk of respiratory problems, coma, or death. Fentanyl’s chemical structure causes fast and potent effects on the brain and body. Even in small amounts, Fentanyl is extremely deadly.
According to Linda Richter, PhD, director of policy research and analysis for the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse for WebMD by Nick Tate, “It only takes a tiny amount of the drug to cause a deadly reaction. Fentanyl can depress breathing and lead to death. The risk of overdose is high with fentanyl.”
First responders, law enforcement, and police dogs are often exposed to fentanyl and other fentanyl‐related substances through emergency or life‐saving circumstances. Fentanyl is taken orally, or can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin or eyes. When first responders come in contact with fentanyl, they need to be treated with naloxone.
Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Multiple doses of naloxone may be required to revive an overdose victim due to fentanyl’s high potency. People who become dependent on or addicted to fentanyl need to seek treatment to prevent overdose or death.
If you or a loved one is battling a substance use disorder or addiction, get help today. Do not suffer alone. Make the call today and save a life. Addiction is treatable and recovery is possible.
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