Legacy Healing Center Blog
What is Fentanyl? Why is it so Dangerous?
The opioid epidemic has caused severe loss of life in the United States as each year, thousands die to opioid overdose. The most powerful opioid, fentanyl, has been the main cause of overdose deaths due to its often-overwhelming potency. But what is fentanyl and why is it a cause for concern in the opioid crisis that the country faces?
What is Fentanyl?
To answer the question “what is fentanyl” one needs to understand the drug’s potency. It is a synthetic opioid that is manufactured in labs, usually illegally. While it may be opioid-like other prescription drugs such as OxyContin, its potency is significantly higher than other opioids. Estimates put the substance at up to 100 times more potent than morphine, a well-known opioid.
According to reports by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), just under 60 percent of the overall opioid deaths in the United States for 2017 was caused by the abuse of fentanyl. Just a few years prior to this in 2010, fentanyl only accounted for 14.3 percent of opioid overdose deaths. The sharp rise in deaths from fentanyl is why it’s important to understand the risks that abuse of unknown drugs and fentanyl itself has.
The Unknown Dangers of Fentanyl
Fentanyl first made news headlines due to the drug being found in autopsy reports. What concerned officials is that the people who took the drug were largely unaware that they were being given such a powerful synthetic opioid. This is because the opioid has become a cheap way for unscrupulous drug dealers to produce a stronger high by adding fentanyl to other drugs such as meth, molly, cocaine, and even heroin.
If you or someone you love needs help with addiction, call 888-608-9351 today to speak with a treatment specialist.
A person who is addicted to opioids will build a tolerance to the drug’s effects over time. They will know how much of each type of opioid they might need in order to achieve the euphoria and withdrawal relief that they are after. However, when a person uses a drug such as heroin, an opioid, but are unaware that it also has added fentanyl, their usual drug dose becomes far too high and can easily lead to a drug overdose. Even if they know that fentanyl has been added, it’s such a powerful opioid that it’s not possible to correctly measure a dose with just the naked eye.
What’s also concerning is when fentanyl is added to other drugs that aren’t opioids. The drug dealer sees it as a way to increase their drug’s potency as cheaply as possible, but the unsuspecting user may unknowingly ingest high amounts of the opioid that causes their system to shut down from overdose.
Finding Help for Opioid Abuse
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is fentanyl?” we can explore opioid addiction treatment. Opioids are highly addictive substances. Once hooked, it can become increasingly difficult to prevent further abuse alone as the addiction progresses. However, you can find specialized treatment programs through our opioid rehab at Legacy Healing.
Every step of recovery is carefully planned and executed by our talent healthcare professionals. We treat our clients with a series of treatment programs to help them deal with all of the aspects of recovery, starting with a medical detox that helps to taper off from opioids, behavioral therapy to tackle the issues that may have led to drug abuse, and other aspects of a holistic healing approach that can help a person to create a sustainable, happy new life.
Get in touch with Legacy Healing today to speak to our compassionate staff about treating opioid addiction. Call us at 888-608-9351.