Fentanyl: 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine

SIX NATIONS – Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate narcotic most commonly prescribed to cancer patients in a lot of pain and was designed for a specific purpose. For the past number of years Ontario has seen a rise in fentanyl related injuries and deaths.

It is a drug that is very difficult to see, smell or taste, and other drugs can be easily ‘cut’ with fentanyl, in powder, pill, or liquid form. When a drug has been cut with something else it means that another substance has been added to make the volume higher, so more of the product can be sold or distributed. More-or-less, cutting is another way to say ‘filler’ has been added.

When an individual is prescribed fentanyl it is often administered intravenously and only to patients in extreme pain who have a tolerance for opiate use.

Heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and other drugs can all be cut with other narcotics like fentanyl. When a drug user attains their drug of choice, there is a possibility that the drug has been cut with fentanyl. Making the already dangerous drug ever more threatening. Not knowing what may or may not be inside and since cutting is often not a monitored process, an overdose is likely.

A fentanyl high is very similar to heroin, providing: reduced feelings of pain, euphoria, and relaxation. Drugabuse.com states that those seeking the effects previously mentioned will often abuse fentanyl by taking it without a prescription. Using high doses, or mixing it with other drugs can turn all of these situations fatal.

Side effects of the drug include: nausea, vomiting, constipation, altered heart rate, slowed breathing rate, confusion, hallucinations, weakness, sweating, itchy skin, seizures and constricted pupils.

Taking an excess amount of fentanyl can lead to a life-threatening overdose. Signs of an overdose include: difficulty swallowing, extreme fatigue, dizziness and fainting, difficulty breathing, cardiac arrest, non-responsiveness, and severe confusion.

The likelihood of a drug overdose varies between individuals. Different factors like age, weight, previous drug use, opioid tolerance levels, and more are all factors in the chances of an overdose. Unmonitored recreational drug use can lead to overdoses, dependencies, and death. The safest option is for an individual to follow the directions prescribed by doctor.

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