JUNE 28, 2017
Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication that has a short duration of action. It is a potent and synthetic drug that springs to action rapidly.
Fentanyl is labeled by the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines as the safest and best drug that should be in any health organization.
In 2013, fentanyl was used globally to the tune of 1,700 kilograms. It is used as a recreational drug, and this has led to thousands of people to their untimely deaths from overdose. The figures have increased exponentially since the year 2000 till date. Sometimes people die from improper medical use of the drug. When utilized in the right proportions and conditions, fentanyl is safe to use as a surgical anesthetic.
Fentanyl is nowadays, a prominent component of cocaine as is being cut into it. According to the New York City Department of Health, most people die of fentanyl overdose without actually knowing that they are consuming it. Making fentanyl is inexpensive, that is why drug dealers use it to spike their drugs and make counterfeit drugs.
The ‘white dust’ is an addictive substance that brings about increased energy and a sense of euphoria to those who use it. Cocaine makes users ‘high, ’ and this often lasts for a brief period, so they tend to increase the consumed doses within that short time. Aside from being addictive, cocaine can cause serious heart diseases and most times leads to death as it constricts the blood vessels.
The effects of cocaine could be long-term or short term. Long-term effects may include alterations to the brains reception of pleasure and reward. After the use of cocaine for a long time, the receptors of pleasure and reward seem to be desensitized due to excessive dopamine release from the brain.
Long-term users may also experience increase in Anxiety levels, lack of muscle control, bowel gangrene, etc. Users who snort it may also suffer bloody, runny or stuffy nose. They may also experience tissue erosion and nasal septal perforation amongst others.
Most recently, a girl of 15 died in Devon after taking an enhancement drug in a park with her friends. Police reports state that the girl took a substance referred to as ‘legal high’ and had suffered an adverse reaction. The Dept. Superintendent of Police also warned against the use of these drugs and in his exact words, “You do not know what you are taking.”
Of the 1,300 drug overdose deaths in 2016, 44% involved fentanyl, and 37% included a combo of fentanyl and cocaine.
Just a few milligrams of fentanyl is enough to increase a user’s overdose risk.
According to health commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, “ All New Yorkers who use drugs, even occasionally, should be aware that their drugs may be mixed with fentanyl.”
Drug dealers often mix their drugs with fentanyl because the latter is inexpensive to make and it is very cheap.
Opioid-based painkillers can hinder breathing and hence places users at a higher risk when compared to other drugs.
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