Substance Use

Why is Fentanyl so Popular?

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Fentanyl’s Rise in Popularity

Fentanyl’s popularity, fueled by its potency and accessibility, poses significant risks, including severe dependence, potential for overdose, and dangerous side effects. While it offers an intense high and is often easily obtainable, the number of overdose deaths and potential for long-term damage far outweigh these short-term attractions.

At Zinnia Health, we believe in your capacity to recover from substance use disorders. Reach out to us today at (855) 430-9439, and let’s navigate the path to sobriety together.

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In recent years, fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has gained infamy as a major player in the opioid epidemic. Its alarming potency, easy accessibility, and often tragic consequences have thrust it into public consciousness.

Yet, despite its notorious reputation, many still wonder why this drug has gained such popularity among substance users. The answer lies in its unique combination of potent effects and relatively low cost, but it’s vital to remember that long-term risks outweigh these short-term attractions.

What Is Special About Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an opioid that’s roughly 100 times more potent than morphine. This powerful painkiller is what makes it unique among prescription opioids. Originally developed for pain management in medical settings, especially for cancer patients with severe pain, it’s now become increasingly prevalent in illicit drug markets.

Why? Partly because of its strength. Small doses can have profound effects, leading to an intense high that users may seek.

Fentanyl’s synthetic composition allows it to be produced in laboratories, eliminating the need for natural opium poppies, which are needed to make traditional opioids. The easy manufacturing process translates into a lower production cost, making it a highly accessible alternative to other, more expensive drugs. The low cost makes it appealing to suppliers and drug dealers, promoting its widespread distribution.

What Are Some Side Effects of Fentanyl?

As an opioid, fentanyl shares many of the side effects common to this class of drugs. Even when used medically and under professional supervision, these include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Sedation

However, when misused, these side effects can become more severe and potentially include:

  • Respiratory distress or failure
  • Unconsciousness
  • Overdose or death

If you or a loved one is grappling with fentanyl misuse, remember – help is just a phone call away. Zinnia Health understands the urgency and is here to guide you on the path to recovery. Connect with us now at (855) 430-9439 – because your health can’t wait.

What Can Fentanyl Do to the Body?

The main risk fentanyl poses to the body is respiratory depression. It can slow or stop breathing. This lack of oxygen can lead to hypoxia, a condition that can result in permanent brain damage, coma, or fentanyl-related fatal overdoses.

This risk is increased when fentanyl is consumed in excessive amounts or when it’s mingled with other substances, especially depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines.

Furthermore, habitual use of fentanyl can pave the way for physical dependence and addiction. When users suddenly stop taking the drug, they may face unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, which signify the body’s struggle to function without the drug it has grown accustomed to.

These can include:

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold flashes with goosebumps
  • Severe cravings

What Is Fentanyl Used for?

Fentanyl’s primary legitimate use lies in medical treatment, providing relief for severe pain, particularly in patients who have developed a resistance to other opioids. Its potency makes it an ideal choice in hospital scenarios for relieving acute pain post-surgery or during childbirth.

Yet, its potency becomes a double-edged sword when it enters the illicit drug market. Here, fentanyl is frequently used as an economical replacement for heroin or other opioids. Given its strength, smaller amounts translate into greater profits for dealers.

However, this also escalates the potential dangers, contributing to a rising tide of fentanyl overdoses and overdose deaths. The danger of fentanyl is further amplified by the razor-thin margin between a dose that delivers a high and a dose that can be lethal.

The unpredictable and often uneven mixing with other street drugs transforms fentanyl into a hidden danger.

What Are the Risks With Fentanyl?

Fentanyl carries with it risks that mirror those typically seen with opioid usage, including addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and the alarming possibility of overdose. However, due to its exceptional strength, these perils are significantly amplified with fentanyl.

Fentanyl overdoses can occur quickly, frequently outpacing the arrival of emergency aid. They can also prove challenging to counteract, even with numerous administrations of naloxone, a commonly used opioid overdose reversal agent.

Also, the illicit trafficking of fentanyl often involves it being laced with other substances or falsely sold as a different drug, leading many users to consume it unwittingly, which further escalates its risk profile.

The combination of its lethal potency, easy accessibility, and rising ubiquity underscores fentanyl’s prominent role in exacerbating the current opioid epidemic.

Counterfeit Pills

Illegal manufacturers are producing pseudo-pharmaceuticals that look like well-known prescription drugs, such as oxycodonemethadone, Xanax, and Adderall but are secretly laced with fentanyl.

This chameleon-like deception is particularly treacherous, as users may believe they’re taking a familiar drug at a familiar dose, completely unaware of the hidden and much more powerful illegal drug within. This can lead to a rapid and unexpected overdose, given the high potency of fentanyl compared to most other opioids.

This troubling trend underlines the importance of vigilance and caution when dealing with any medication that has not been directly dispensed by a trusted healthcare provider or pharmacy.

Fentanyl Test Strips

Fentanyl test strips are a harm reduction tool that has gained recognition as an effective measure to counteract the rising prevalence of fentanyl and its associated risks, such as drug overdoses. They are being distributed at harm reduction programs, needle exchange centers, and even some pharmacies.

The use of fentanyl test strips is relatively straightforward. However, the strips can’t detect all types of fentanyl, and a negative result doesn’t guarantee safety.

Fentanyl Use is Serious

While the effects of fentanyl can appeal to substance users, the potentially lethal risks and long-term damage it can cause are far more significant. Recognizing these risks is the first step toward understanding the seriousness of fentanyl misuse.

If you’re struggling with fentanyl addiction or a loved one is at risk, remember that help is within reach.

Fentanyl use is life-threatening and demands immediate intervention. Let Zinnia Health provide the urgent, compassionate support you need. Call (855) 430-9439 today, and take the first step to quit drug use and regain control of your life.

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Ready to get help?
(855) 430-9439
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