There has been such an increase in women and men coming to us for opiate addiction treatment that we feel the need to cover it extensively. The rise of opiate addiction seems to be tied to the popularity and abuse of OxyContin. Of course, the tragic outcome for many who can no longer afford the pills is to move to heroin which is a very difficult addiction to overcome – especially without receiving treatment from a rehab center.
Fentanyl’s Popularity on the Rise
The FDA recently issued a warning the about the dangers of fentanyl abuse. This warning coincides with an increase in reported deaths related to fentanyl and the rise of illicit fentanyl production.
Fentanyl is part of a class of drugs known as synthetic opiates, which are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Of these, OxyContin may be the most well-known, but it is not alone in this class. Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate, is extremely potent, several times more powerful than opium itself. As with the other synthetic opiates, dependency upon fentanyl can lead to addiction and abuse. One of the most powerful prescription painkillers, fentanyl is gaining in popularity among addicts, but its particular dangers may not be known to the general public.
One of the things that makes fentanyl different, and dangerous, is that it is not only abused in its pharmaceutical, prescription form, but it is frequently manufactured on the street.
Fentanyl is most commonly prescribed in a time-release configuration. Typical delivery methods include a swallowed pill, a lozenge held in the mouth, and a transdermal patch. As with oxycontin, fentanyl addicts have found ways to bypass the time release mechanisms. In addition to crushing, snorting or freebasing the pulverized solid form of the drug, the transdermal patch has been simply eaten whole. The variety of delivery methods, some of which do not resemble pills, makes it extremely important to safeguard children from exposure to fentanyl.
These are a few of the factors that led the FDA to issue its warning. Patients who have been prescribed fentanyl may become addicted. They may also fall prey to family members who steal the drug itself, intercept prescriptions, or make false reports of theft in order to gain duplicate quantities. Patients wearing a transdermal patch may be vulnerable to assault by addicts attempting to forcibly remove the patch. Street-produced fentanyl is often mixed with heroin or sold as a heroin look-alike substance. Of course, this kind of fentanyl has none of the quality control or safety mechanisms of pharmaceutical grade product, with all of the accompanying risks associated with overdose and multi-drug interaction. As a result, fentanyl has been a contributing factor in many overdose deaths.
For these reasons, it is often vital that those addicted to fentanyl seek treatment at a rehab center. Treatment for fentanyl addiction (and all other opiates) is available at The Camp and many other rehab centers. For more information call our toll free number.