The amount of the synthetic opioid Fentanyl seized by authorities doubled between 2015 and 2016. Regular readers of the blog already know about the dangers of unchecked opioid consumption. Here’s what you need to know about fentanyl, a highly powerful opioid that is potentially the most dangerous drug in America.
Simply put, Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that is about 100 times as potent as morphine. Remember, opioids are a class of drugs used for their extremely effective painkilling properties. Substances such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and even heroin are all opioids. Opioids present one of the most exasperating challenges for both the medical community as well as law enforcement due to their highly addictive nature. The problem lies in the fact that, in addition to an opiate’s on-label ability to act as an analgesic, these drugs also bring about a sense of well-being and pleasure that intensifies as the dosage increases.
Fentanyl in particular is becoming a serious concern in our society. As we begin to crack down on opioid over-prescription by doctors, as well as heroin manufacture and illegal drug importing, suppliers are always seeking to be one step ahead and deliver a similar product that will remain profitable on the streets. Unfortunately, the latest way that these suppliers have sought to evade law enforcement is by turning to Fentanyl, a once obscure synthetic opioid that is shockingly powerful, and can result in a fatal overdose even in minuscule quantities.
Opioid addicts aren’t picky about what form their fix comes in. Many people would be surprised to learn just how chemically similar heroin is to that bottle of Percocets that were prescribed legally. As one product becomes more difficult to obtain, opioid addicts will accept similar substitutes as long as they are getting that all-familiar opiate effect. It just so happens that lately, Fentanyl is becoming easier to illegally manufacture (mostly in China) and distribute, due to its high concentration.
This is doubly concerning, as not only will the proliferation of Fentanyl continue the opioid crisis in America, but its incredible potency will almost certainly lead to hundreds — if not thousands — of overdoses, deaths, and shattered families. If you’ve never experienced addiction, it can be hard to understand the mind of an addict. But remember that these chemicals are ruthlessly powerful, and can break the willpower of even the kindest and most well-meaning person. This is one of the reason that opioid addiction is such an urgent public health issue in this country: for many people, it only takes one try to get dangerously hooked on these potentially fatal substances.
So, what is the solution to the Fentanyl and opioid crisis? There is no easy answer, but professionals have identified probably the best course of action: prevention. Keeping someone from ever starting down the dark road toward opioid addiction seems to be our best bet at eradicating this problem for good.