Fentanyl is an opiate and is one of the strongest out there. If you know musician Prince, he died last April 21 2017 from self-administered fentanyl overdose. But what really is this drug and what makes it addictive despite the fatal dangers it poses?
What is Fentanyl
Fentanyl is an opioid, which means it mimics the body’s natural endorphins, the feel-good and pain-killing neurochemical. It is used as an anesthetic in surgeries or to treat severe pain or any pain that does not respond to ordinary painkillers because the drug is extremely powerful. In fact, it is said to be 100 times more powerful than morphine.
The drug is prescribed to cancer patients, but nowadays, widespread abuse is rampant especially since the drug has been widely manufactured illegally in countries like China and Mexico.
Fentanyl is taken in the form of patches, ice pops, nasal sprays, and pills. It comes as Sublimaze, Actiq, and Duragesic.
And while heroin is highly addictive, its close cousin fentanyl is even more so.
How is Fentanyl abused?
In the streets, fentanyl is known as tango, dance fever, cash, friend, china girl, and jackpot. Those who abuse it often inject it, eat it in the form of candy, smoke or snort it.
Signs of Fentanyl Abuse
Using the drug without a prescription is a form of abuse. Signs that someone has taken the drug are:
- nausea or vomitting
- breathing problems
- pain or numbness in injection site when injected
- irregular heartbeat
- swelling or inflammation of body parts
- allergic reaction
- excessive or unexplained sweating
Why is Fentanyl Abuse Dangerous?
Because it is a tremendously powerful opiate, it is highly dangerous and even instantaneously fatal. In fact, a microgram of the drug can kill someone on the spot. Many complications can arise from fentanyl abuse:
- abdominal pain
Today, it is mixed with other drugs by illegal manufacturers and drug traffickers. They add fentanyl to heroin and some disguise the drug for OxyContin.