By: Shannon Persad
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How is Fentanyl Abused Today?
Fentanyl is fatal. It’s a destructive drug that can cause severe, irreversible consequences, even in the smallest doses.
While fentanyl has been around for decades as a means to treat cancer patients, is it now a drug that is laced within heroin or other drugs, causing harm to thousands of people yearly.
According the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl is defined as “ a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a schedule II prescription drug, and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery.”
Despite fentanyl being as powerful as it is, people abuse the drug in various ways.
Common Fentanyl Uses
The most popular way people abuse fentanyl is by consuming it in gel form out of a patch or chewing on the patch. This makes it incredibly easy to cause an overdose. The gel can also cause organ damage.
A patch can also be placed between their cheeks and gums. Smoking and injection are also known methods, similar to those who smoke meth or inject heroin.
The Drug Enforcement Administration states fentanyl can be:
- taken orally by pill or tablet
- spiked onto blotter paper
Fatal activities revolving around fentanyl include mixing with alcohol or other drugs. Heroin or cocaine mixed with fentanyl will lead to irreversible consequences when abused. Drug dealers may also lace other drugs with fentanyl, which can cause accidental overdoses.
It’s no wonder overdose deaths have risen in the United States since the introduction of opioid prescriptions. The addiction to opioids have led to deadly substitutes such as heroin, and now fentanyl. Heroin tends to be laced with fentanyl, making it stronger than prescribed fentanyl.
According the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), over 28,400 opioid overdoses involved fentanyl, out of 70,200 in 2017.
The rising abuse of fentanyl, both knowingly and unknowingly, has become a problem in the United States as people try to find the most potent street drugs.
If you or someone you know is abusing fentanyl, please seek immediate treatment.