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The continued rise in the illegal use of fentanyl is leading many users on a fast-track to addiction.
Let us take a look at what the drug is, why it is used legally as well as illegally and the devastating effects it can have.
What is Fentanyl?
This opiate is one of the strongest painkilling drugs currently available. Medically it is often used for those recovering from surgery or when a patient is already on painkillers, but they suffer “breakthrough pain”.
It is a short-duration drug that must be administered with great care. Because of its strength there is a fine line between a dose that can ease pain and one that can kill. This is where illegal users of the drug are making fatal mistakes.
Affording a worrying tolerance:
Prescribed fentanyl is taken under supervision and for short periods of time. Those who are searching for the highs offered must understand this extremely powerful painkiller rapidly creates an increased tolerance for high doses.
This is so severe that a dose which gives the desired high during 5 or 6 days of continuous use will not register the same high the following week. What this means is that users need to increase dosage. Increased dosage means dependence and a risk of overdose.
Along with the rest of the opiate family the main reasons users hanker after fentanyl is due to some very pleasant highs. These include a heightened sense of euphoria, a feeling of being at one with the world, mellowed-out senses, lethargy and drowsiness.
While users feel the positive effects are pleasant the negative effects are exactly the opposite and there are a whole host to consider. Here are 15 to think about:
Rapid addiction is a real consequence of use:
Many users of fentanyl think they can avoid dependence upon the drug by hitting it hard for a few days and then leaving the drug alone for a while before going at it again.
This strategy offers a two-fold risk because the body and mind tolerate the drug rapidly. This will often mean that increased doses are required to achieve those searched for highs. Increased amounts fuels dependence. The second reason is that being able to leave the drug alone after a binge session is far easier said than done.
Fentanyl has a very powerful pull. Once started it does not want to let go easily and this leads to users being unable to do without it.
Fentanyl fears should be seen as real fears:
Taking any illegal opioid comes with risk, but messing with fentanyl brings more risk than most. This highly addictive drug should be avoided at all costs.