While there are significant health benefits to those prescribed this medication, unfortunately there has been a surge of fentanyl related deaths in individuals who are abusing the drug. Many people are unaware of what type of drug fentanyl is and are unaware of the risks associated with this prescription pain medication. This article will address common questions asked about this drug. Is fentanyl an opiate? What is an opiate? What are the risks associated with opiate use and abuse? What treatment options are available for someone suffering from opiate addiction?
Yes, fentanyl is a synthetic opiate pain reliever. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl is a synthetic opiate and narcotic analgesic (pain reliever) used to treat severe pain or used for pain management after a surgical procedure. Brand names for fentanyl include Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Lazanda, and Sublimaze. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and over 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is classified as a Schedule II drug due to its high potential for abuse and the possibility of leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. Fentanyl is highly addictive and users often develop a tolerance for the drug. Unfortunately, despite many health benefits it is often abused.
Opiates are a group of drugs that are used for treating pain. Drugs in the opiate class are derived from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. The term opiates covers a large variety of drugs, ranging from legal drugs such as fentanyl, morphine and codeine to illegal drugs such as opium and heroin. Although the term opiate and opioid are often used interchangeably, technically opioids include synthetic and semi-synthetic opiate drugs.
As previously stated, fentanyl is classified as a Schedule II prescription drug due to the high risk for dependence and abuse. Individuals who abuse fentanyl often obtain the drug through a variety of illicit channels. Fentanyl is often sold illegally on the streets under a variety of different pseudonyms. Some of the street names for fentanyl are: China Girl or China White, TNT, Murder 8, Apache, Cash and Tango. People who use and abuse fentanyl are at risk for developing an emotional and/or physical dependence and addiction. The health risks associated with fentanyl addiction can be fatal. Many addicts mix fentanyl with other drugs like cocaine and heroin, these can be lethal combinations. People who abuse fentanyl often use alternative routes of administration in order to experience a more rapid and intense high. Fentanyl users often disarm the slow-release mechanism of the drug in order to experience the effects all at once; this increases the likelihood of accidental overdose, coma and death. The withdrawal symptoms associated with fentanyl dependence and addiction are often severe and extremely uncomfortable. Once an individual experiences withdrawal symptoms, the likelihood for relapse increases. Fentanyl has become one of the most commonly abused prescription pain medications in the United States. Those addicted to fentanyl go to great lengths to maintain their addiction. Doctor shopping, forging prescriptions, stealing drugs and buying the drug illegally off the streets are common ways people addicted to fentanyl continue the abuse. Fentanyl addiction is a serious emotional and physical condition that requires comprehensive and effective treatment
Fentanyl use and abuse can rapidly manifest into addiction. Addiction is a disease. Emotional and physical recovery is possible. In order to help an individual suffering from addiction, it is imperative that they receive appropriate treatment. Addiction specialists are trained mental health professionals that are able to address both the addiction and the underlying issues associated with the development of the addiction. No one should deal with addiction alone. Addiction specialists can help. An addiction specialist will best be able to determine the right course of action. Outpatient treatment programs and sober living homes provide a safe and drug-free environment where addicts can receive effective treatment, gain the support of a recovery community and experience emotional and physical recovery from addiction. If you would like more information about fentanyl detox and long term recovery, please do not hesitate to call us at (888)357-7577.