What Is Fentanyl & How Is It Deadly

what is fentanyl

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an opiate. However, it stands out in that it is not just synthetic but also stronger than most of the other opiates that are known to members of the general public, so much so that it is actually somewhere between 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. As a result, it is often used to treat people who have become tolerant to other opiates because it is so powerful that it can perform its intended function in spite of their tolerance. Of course, while it sees use for legitimate purposes such as chronic pain management and post-surgical pain management, it also sees use as an illicit drug as shown by street names that range from Apache to Cash and Tango.

Is Fentanyl Dangerous?

fentanyl facts

When used for legitimate purposes, fentanyl should be safe, though it is important to note that it comes with a number of familiar side effects. After all, it is an opiate, meaning that once it has been taken in the form of either a lozenge, an injection, or a transdermal patch, it binds itself to opiate receptors in the brain, which in turn, cause a sensation of happiness by targeting its reward areas. As a result, it is not unknown for people to become addicted to fentanyl for much the same reasons that people become addicted to other opiates.

However, it is important to note that the fentanyl issued in prescriptions might not be the same as the fentanyl that is available through illegal suppliers, which can come as powder, as tablets, and spiked on blotter paper. This is because the latter has been known to mix it with heroin, which makes the already powerful substance that much more so. As a result, fentanyl in its form as a street drug has been known to cause a host of problems, ranging from stopping the user's breathing to causing comas, unconsciousness, and of course, death. Furthermore, it is important to note that substances being sold as fentanyl may or may not actually be fentanyl, meaning that there are even more potential side effects that people who abuse the schedule II prescription drug have to be concerned about. This is particularly problematic because fentanyl is often swapped out with heroin entirely, which can come as a rather unwelcome surprise to those who were expecting something else.

Overdoses on fentanyl can be treated in much the same manner as overdoses on other opiates. For example, an opiate receptor antagonist is a drug that keeps the opiate from affecting the opiate receptors in the brain, thus keeping it from causing its effects, which include those that are harmful as well as those that are harmless. However, such treatments become much more unsure and much more uncertain when the patient has been taking fentanyl in its street drug form because the responders may or may not realize what is happening right away, which results in the loss of valuable time as said individuals scramble to find out before it is too late.

Summed up, fentanyl is safe for use in limited doses as well as limited situations, as shown by the fact that it is a schedule II prescription drug rather than something that has been banned altogether. However, that does not mean it is safe when used in a form that it was never meant to be used in by people that it was never meant for, which is something that can have tragic results.