The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued an advisory to health professionals and addiction clinics over the increase in fentanyl abuse. Around Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Arizona, fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths are increasing. Infamously, it’s the same drug that cost Prince his life.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is very potent opioid that was first created in the 1960’s. It is clinically used to break through pain that does not respond to the most common painkillers. It can also be used to treat very severe chronic pain. It works by emulating the body’s natural endorphins, which are hormones that disable pain receptors in the brain. Fentanyl is thought to be nearly fifty times more potent than heroin and morphine. This makes the drug deadly when used recreationally. The CDC estimates that it is a major contributor to the drug epidemic that killed more than 40,000 people in 2017.

Fetylnal is often used in place of heroin unknowingly through illegal manufacturing in China and Mexico. It is available in pill form, nasal sprays, and gel tabs that are made to look like popular medications such as Xanax and OxyContin.

How does Fentanyl Effect the Brain?

Since fentanyl crosses the blood-brain barrier, it binds to the brain’s many opioid receptors. This leads to its analgesic properties, and also a feeling of euphoria. While morphine takes time to bind to these receptors, fentanyl binds rapidly. This leads to feelings of euphoria in just minutes. It also has a much greater potency than the other opioids, with possible fatal consequences even at low doses.

How is Fentanyl Used Legally?

A pain physician can prescribe the drug through injection, as a lozenge, or as a transdermal patch. Fetylnal relaxes the body and brain because it is a central nervous system depressant. It’s also used to help cancer patients with the extreme pain sometimes experienced after surgery.

Where Does Illicit Fentanyl Come From?

Nearly all traces of fentanyl that arrive in Scottsdale and the Phoenix Valley have originated from a small number of labs in Mexico. Still, others have come into Arizona from China. Ironically, the redesign of OxyContin to make it more difficult to abuse has led to an increase in the use of fentanyl. In an effort to stop this, the government has introduced diplomatic and legal means to help reduce the spread of this deadly drug.

Possible Side-Effects

Fentanyl has side-effects that are often compared to heroin. Some of the short-term effects may include:

  • Relaxation
  • Reduced pain
  • Euphoria

Other possible side-effects of fentanyl can include:

  • Constipation
  • Hallucination
  • Itchy skin
  • Slow Rate of Breathing
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Symptoms of Fentanyl Overdose

Taking even a small dose of fentanyl can cause overdose, and even death. The main reason fentanyl causes overdose so easily is due to it’s incredibly potency. Fentanyl was originally made to help people who’ve developed a tolerence to other common prescription painkillers like OxyContin.

Get Help for fentanyl Addiction in Scottsdale and Phoenix

At Purpose Healing Center, we can help with fentanyl addiction in Scottsdale and Phoenix. Contact us today to learn about treatment options.

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