You may have heard of heroin or other opiates, but have you heard of fentanyl? This lesser known drug is having a serious impact. The newest drug to hit the streets has completely reignited the opioid crisis and is more deadly than any drug cops have ever seen. It is a driving force behind overdoses all over the world, and country.
So where did fentanyl get its start? Well, fentanyl began its reign in British Columbia. In 2016, British Columbia declared a public health emergency due to the rampant overdoses experienced in the region. They also started a website called fentanylsafety.com. However, this unfortunately did not stop the drug from growing in popularity and spreading to other parts of the country.
So what is fentanyl composed of? Well, it’s a pain reliever so it is an opioid similar to morphine or heroin. Except it’s a lot, lot stronger. In legal settings, it is administered in a patch for really bad, chronic pain, such as in the case of cancer patients. But the fentanyl that is coming from overseas bears almost no resemblance to the legal, medical form. It is about 50 to 100 times stronger than medical fentanyl.
It is the strength and insidious nature of fentanyl that leads it to claim so many lives. People began to learn of the danger of fentanyl several years ago. Around the time it was gaining popularity in British Columbia, a photo by the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory was released. It show two vials, one with a lethal dose of heroin and one with a lethal dose of fentanyl. The dose of heroin clocked in at 30 milligrams, while the lethal dose of fentanyl was only 3 milligrams. Basically, the tiniest scoop can kill you. The picture served to represent just how dangerous and insidious fentanyl can be.
Fentanyl is changing the lives of everyone involved with it. Obviously, addicts and their families are completely ravaged by the fentanyl, but the police and first responders are even having to change their practices in response to the drug. There have been several incidents in which officers have been injured due to contact with fentanyl. In 2016, a police officer in Jersey had to go to the hospital simply because he breathed a small portion of the fentanyl. Because of this and other incidents, police officers are currently using protective gear like Tyvek suits and respirators. This is because fentanyl is so dangerous and so strong that even touching or breathing it in could result in overdose or death. Naloxone, or narcan, as its often known is also a big part of first responders’ jobs in the current opioid crisis. Naloxone works to reverse the effects of overdose.
If you or someone you know is addicted to fentanyl or another drug, the time for help is now. If you are looking to have an intervention in New York or the DMV area, Recovery Care Partner is the best place to go.Learn More
Recovery Care Partner is committed to finding new, innovative ways to tread the terrible disease of addiction. For this reason, we are always finding new avenues and exploring new ways that the medical field is combating addiction around the world. Our commitment and promise for compassionate expert support is of course, substantiated by our commitment to research, academia, medical advancements and the field of addiction treatment at large.
So what new techniques is the medical community trying to help combat the opiate and overall addiction epidemic? Well, one method is Vivitrol. Branded as naltrexone, the once a day pill has technically been around for over 30 years, but a new form of the drug that is administered once a month and helps block the opioid receptors that aid someone in getting high, is relatively new. Naltrexone works in a number of ways. First, it is known to cut cravings for both opiates and alcohol. Also, it will make it so opiates are not received when taken. It is important to understand this as risks accrue when the user cannot feel the amount of the drug they are taking. However, when taken correctly, and in conjunction with abstinence from opiates, it can be very helpful. Furthermore, some people are now taking naltrexone before they engage in drinking to cessate the process germane to many alcoholics of craving, which occurs once the first drink sets in. A large number of people have had success with this method, and the Food and Drug Administration has called it ““a significant advancement in addiction treatment.”
Another innovative way to combat the opiate crisis is via Alda-1, a revolutionary new painkiller that is devoid of addictive properties. The drug is so helpful because it is necessary to provide the world with a safe painkiller alternative. People with chronic pain need something to be prescribed to them, but as it stands, prescribing them with addictive opiates just creates more addicts. This sentiment was echoed by Daria Mochly-Rosen, the professor who discovered the compound and said, “Finding a new pain medication is important because we need a safer drug; there are 17,000 deaths from prescription opiate overdoses [each] year.”
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is another type of therapy being use to combat addiction in individuals. This non-invasive tool uses pulses to change activity in varying areas of the brain, including those that affect addiction, habit-making and cravings. The ability to alter these dynamics in an addict’s brain is incredibly crucial, as anyone with any experience with an addict will understand. A similar strain of therapy is memory reconsolidation, which entails rewiring devastating memories that trigger the destructive behavior that is so central to addiction.
If you are interested in intervention and treatment that stays at the cutting edge of the scientific community, look no further than Recovery Care Partners. We have a wide understanding and compassion for addiction and other related afflictions.Learn More