If you have been keeping up with news about the American Opioid Crisis over recent years, then you are probably aware of the serious issues with a painkiller called fentanyl. Although its medical use has dwindled over the past decade, this dangerous opioid has become a focal point not only for the epidemic in the United States but also for an opioid crisis that is taking place in Canada (as well as Australia and other countries). In fact, people die in the hundreds each month as a direct result of consuming fentanyl products. So, how serious is this problem on our shores? Let’s take a closer look at how fentanyl is wreaking havoc on the United States.
The Rise of Fentanyl
Before the onslaught of the Opioid Crisis, the drug fentanyl was rarely used outside the environment of hospital operating rooms. Then, in the 1990s, scientists developed a transdermal patch that could deliver controlled doses of this powerful opioid to chronic pain patients, whose former opioid drugs could not longer provide them with relief. Due to the convenience of the patch and its seemingly safe design (controlled dose), this form of fentanyl started to gain popularity among people who were not suffering from cancer or HIV/AIDS. Tragically, though, fentanyl also started to become an additive to street drugs and entered the illegal market, where it wreaks havoc to this day.
Onslaught of the Fentanyl Crisis
Two words can easily be used to describe modern fentanyl: attainable and cheap. Due its popularity and mass production, this drug can now be found in hospitals, pharmacies, and the bags of patients (and subsequently sold on the street by drug dealers). Even more disturbing, laboratories in China have started selling cheaper variations of fentanyl, which has been cut with other dangerous chemicals to make a cheaper product. Ultimately, both prescription and illegal fentanyl are now spurring the Opioid Crisis in America, and the major epidemics in Canada, Australia, and other countries. Here is a closer look at some dangerous new varieties of fentanyl:
- Carfentanil: an opioid that is 10,000 times stronger than morphine (in contrast to fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine)
- Furanyl fentanyl: an analog (imitation drug) of fentanyl sold on the illegal market
- Novel analogs: dangerous psychoactive drugs that include acrylfentanyl, 4-chloroisobutyrfentanyl (4Cl-iBF), 4-fluoroisobutyrfentanyl (4F-iBF), and tetrahydrofuranfentanyl (THF-F), and cyclopentylfentanyl
- Derivatives: dangerous drugs that are derived from fentanyl (not imitations)
- Mixtures: fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and derivatives mixed with other dangerous drugs
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
While necessary for chronic pain patients, opioids are deadly and potentially addictive drugs that can wreak havoc on your mind and body. As you have seen, fentanyl is one of the most dangerous substances fueling our American crisis, and you must take extra care if your doctor prescribes this drug to you (especially if you have a history of abuse or addiction). If you, a friend, or a loved one has become the victim of opioid use disorder, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you separate yourself from the clutches of opioid medications.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your attachment to opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil and take control of your life back.