The dangers of opioid-based painkillers are something most people are quickly understanding. However, at the same time, there’s been a new risk rising up in the form of fentanyl. This drug, and its copies, can be very dangerous and hard to recognize if you aren’t careful…
Fentanyl: What’s The Risk?
What it is
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid which doctors use as a painkiller. In fact, it is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine is! As a result, doctors tend to give it to those experiencing very severe pain, such as after surgery or cancer-related pains. However, they may also use it for those who have a high tolerance to other opioid painkillers.
Additionally, a doctor might prescribe this drug, but it isn’t all that common. Plus, it also doesn’t just come in a pill form this way. Instead, you may have to take it through a shot, a patch placed on the skin, or in a lozenge which you take more like a cough drop than any sort of pill.
Of course, regular fentanyl poses many of the risks that other opioids do. There’s a very high risk of addiction which comes with taking medication that powerful. However, the increasing risk these days come from illicitly-made fentanyl. In fact, it’s this version which has been responsible for a rise in synthetic opioid overdose-related deaths.
The issue is these versions are made with no kind of quality control, making them even more dangerous than their normal counterpart. Plus, many drug dealers have started to cut other drugs with this fake version of the drug. What this means is many people might not even know they’re mixing drugs, which can be highly dangerous.
What to do
Much like with the risks, taking fentanyl safely is also similar to other opioids. Mainly, you have to be careful about how much you take, and watch for signs of a potential dependency forming. At the same time, with how dangerous the illicit stuff is, you should also know what to do if you suspect someone is overdosing.
The main thing is to call 911 right away. Due to how strong fentanyl is, and how the illicit version can be even stronger, immediate medical aid is key. Be sure to stay with the person to keep them safe until help arrives.