The Dangers of Drugs Laced with Fentanyl
The twin epidemics of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use are bad enough, but another even greater danger lurks just under the surface. That danger is posed by fentanyl, a drug so powerful that it can bring down elephants, tigers, and other large dangerous animals. And that danger becomes even more prevalent when fentanyl-laced drugs are introduced.
There are several reasons why this dangerous drug has entered the illegal substance marketplace, from its relatively low cost and easy availability to the fact that it is highly addictive. In fact, drug dealers often lace their heroin, cocaine, and even marijuana with fentanyl for precisely that reason, hoping that their customers will become addicted and dependent on what they have to offer, much more quickly.
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What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to reduce severe pain, but it can be also be found on the street by itself or with fentanyl-laced drugs. Fentanyl-laced drugs are nothing to mess around with, and the sooner you seek treatment, the safer you will be.
What Drugs Can be Laced with Fentanyl
Substance use is dangerous enough without the introduction of even more deadly substances like fentanyl. Yet fentanyl has found its way into all kinds of street drugs, including:
- Heroin – Drug dealers often cut their heroin with fentanyl to stretch their supply and pad their profits, creating a dangerous situation for their customers, emergency room personnel, first responders, and society as a whole.
- Cocaine – Cocaine and fentanyl can be a deadly combination, but that does not stop dealers and other criminals from cutting the substances they sell with this dangerous drug.
- Fake RX Medications – If you take prescription drugs, you may have seen those drugs advertised online, often at much lower prices than you could get at the local pharmacy. Unfortunately, those excellent prices are often too reasonable to be accurate, and many buyers have lost their money on fake RX drugs that do not work. But worse yet, these counterfeit RX drugs are sometimes adulterated, either accidentally or on purpose, with dangerous contaminants like fentanyl, creating a potentially deadly cocktail for unsuspecting bargain hunters.
- Marijuana – The quasi-legal status of marijuana in many parts of the country has created a great deal of confusion for young people and their parents, with many teens thinking that marijuana use is no big deal. The problem is marijuana is often adulterated with other substances, including potentially deadly drugs like fentanyl. The inclusion of fentanyl in marijuana can turn what would otherwise have been a gentle high into a truly life-threatening situation.
Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous?
In the world of illicit drugs, fentanyl is uniquely dangerous, with the potential to kill instantly and create an emergency within seconds of use. Several factors make fentanyl one of the most dangerous drugs in the world, including:
- Severe risk of overdose – it is possible to overdose on almost any illegal drugs, but the overdose risk posed by fentanyl is in a class all its own. Even a tiny amount of fentanyl can trigger an overdose, and a small amount has the power to kill.
- Faster addiction – Addiction can set in quickly when using heroin, cocaine, meth, and other street drugs, but the inclusion of fentanyl can speed up the addiction process and vastly increase the addictive potential of the drug.
- Lack of warning – It would be bad enough if drug users knew the substances they were taking had been adulterated with fentanyl, but drug dealers do not typically share this kind of information. More often than not, the user will be blindsided by the inclusion of fentanyl – and unprepared for its adverse and potentially deadly effects.
Comprehensive Addiction Treatment at Legacy Healing Center
There are many problems associated with the rising use of fentanyl as an additive and adulterant drug dealer’s use, and this powerful substance can be deadly in very tiny amounts. If you want to avoid the enormous dangers fentanyl has brought, the best way to do it is to stop your use of illegal drugs once and for all.
There is simply no way to know if your next dose of drugs will include fentanyl as an extra ingredient, and no matter how careful you are, you can never know for sure. If you are ready to get help for your drug dependency, we encourage you to reach out to Legacy Healing Center today by calling 888.534.2295. We have the training, the expertise, and the experience needed to put you on the right path, one that leads to a lifetime of recovery instead of the darkness and dangers of fentanyl.
Dr. Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO is a leading physician in addiction medicine and psychiatry. Dr. Bhatt is a Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Bhatt is also Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and a Certified Medical Review Officer. He has extensive experience in a variety of substance abuse treatment programs, and psychiatric and co-occurring diagnosis programs for both adults and adolescents, and has served as the Chief Medical Officer for regional and national behavioral health companies. He has been involved in medical and administrative leadership, as well as the development of both public and private substance abuse and dual diagnosis facilities.
Dr. Bhatt completed his fellowship at the University of Miami, at Jackson Memorial Hospital where he also served as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Chief Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Inpatient and Emergency Crisis Services, and the Director of the Adult Intensive Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital.