As the second half of 2017 comes around, the name of the synthetic prescription painkiller fentanyl has become a household name. From one end of the country to the other, fentanyl has caused a tidal wave of fatal overdoses in the wake of the opioid epidemic. Unlike other prescription opioid painkillers, fentanyl is not morphine-based. Used as a high strength painkiller, fentanyl can be up to 100 times more potent than regular morphine-based medications. Normal opioid painkillers like Oxycontin and Hydrocodone have been problematic enough during the opioid epidemic. Fentanyl, significantly stronger is not a problem but a threat.
Word of fentanyl began spreading well before it made headlines when world renown artist Prince suffered a fatal overdose because of it. Rather than national headlines, smaller local headlines were beginning to speak of this otherwise unknown synthetic substance which was causing small clusters of overdoses. Being found in heroin, cocaine, painkillers and even pills which were menat to be benzodiazepines, advertised as “Super Pills”, fentanyl was creeping into the black market. Within just a few weeks, Prince overdosed and fentanyl gained its reputation.
The high potency of fentanyl is not the primary problem. Reports from different toxicology labs have revealed that overseas manufacturers have managed to eliminate the physical signs of fentanyl. Once it is reduced to powder form in order to be used in other drugs, fentanyl is tasteless, odorless, and practically undetectable. Translucent in color as a fine powder, it is almost impossible to tell when or how much fentanyl is present in another drug. Over the last year, fentanyl has been increasing in its potency. Some agencies have reported that fentanyl can be skin absorbent and just breathing it in could cause an overdose.
It has never been the goal of the black market to produce mediocre drugs with mediocre effects. In order for major drug dealers and manufacturers to stay ahead, they have to create a product which is exponentially addicting. Fentanyl can be highly addicting when it doesn’t cause overdose. Overdose on opioids is a common risk every recreational user and fully developed addict faces. Fentanyl heightens the likelihood of that risk with every hit, injection, and dose.
Overcoming opioid addiction is possible. Lakehouse Recovery Center offers residential detox and treatment programs designed to heal mind, body, and spirit, while clinically empowering clients to live a life of recovery. For more information, call us today at 877.762.3707.