Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico.

Fentanyl

Other Names:

Blues, Fake Percs, Smoking Blues, Mexican 30s, M30 pills, M-Boxes. Fentanyl pharmaceutical products are currently available in the following dosage forms: oral transmucosal lozenges commonly referred to as fentanyl “lollipops” (Actiq®), effervescent buccal tablets (Fentora®), sublingual tablets (Abstral®), sublingual sprays (Subsys®), nasal sprays (Lazanda®), transdermal patches (Duragesic®), and injectable formulations. Clandestinely produced fentanyl is encountered either as a powder or in counterfeit tablets and is Fentanyl sold alone or in combination with other drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

How Does It Affect Your System?

Fentanyl can be injected, snorted/sniffed, smoked, taken orally by pill or tablet, and spiked onto blotter paper. Fentanyl patches are abused by removing its gel contents and then injecting or ingesting these contents. Patches have also been frozen, cut into pieces, and placed under the tongue or in the cheek cavity. Illicitly produced fentanyl is sold alone or in combination with heroin and other substances and has been identified in counterfeit pills, mimicking pharmaceutical drugs such as oxycodone. According to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System, reports on fentanyl (both pharmaceutical and clandestinely produced) increased from nearly 5,400 in 2014 to over 56,500 in 2017, as reported by federal, state, and local forensic laboratories in the United States.

What is the effect on the body?
Fentanyl, similar to other commonly used opioid analgesics (e.g., morphine), produces effects such as relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression.

What are the overdose effects?
Overdose may result in stupor, changes in pupillary size, cold and clammy skin, cyanosis, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death. The presence of triad of symptoms such as coma, pinpoint pupils, and respiratory depression are strongly suggestive of opioid poisoning.

Which drugs cause similar effects?
Drugs that cause similar effects include other opioids such as morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, methadone, and heroin.

What Are The Symptoms & Risk

Detoxing Symptoms (Withdrawl)

Detoxing Safely

Several medications may be used to help treat people with opioid use disorders. These medications may lower someone’s risk of relapse and increase abstinence rates in people who are in recovery from fentanyl addiction.

Opioid agonist medications can be used to stabilize someone experiencing fentanyl withdrawal and also help to maintain someone through a longer-term recovery period by diminishing cravings and other unpleasant symptoms.

Two medications widely used in the treatment of fentanyl and other opioid addictions are methadone and buprenorphine.

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