Fentanyl is a dangerous, powerful drug that is commonly prescribed as well as illicitly manufactured. When made illegally, Fentanyl is often laced with other drugs as a result of its potency. This makes it less expensive to produce strong drugs but can make an overdose much more likely.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a prescription synthetic opioid drug. It is considered to be between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl in pill form is prescribed by a doctor and when prescribed, it is intended to be used for pain relief from severe pain or chronic pain. 

Some people incorrectly believe that prescription medications are safe since they are administered by a medical professional. However, just because Fentanyl is a prescribed drug does not mean it is a completely safe drug – it is extremely addictive and can have severe side effects.

What is Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is also made illegally. When this is done, it can be made in pill form or as powdered Fentanyl and is commonly laced with other illicit drugs. Fentanyl is already an incredibly powerful drug and when laced with other drugs, it is extremely dangerous and significantly increases the risk of an overdose.

Which Drugs Are Laced with Fentanyl?

There are several illicit drugs that are commonly laced with illicitly manufactured Fentanyl. These include drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. When this is done, it increases the risk of side effects. Fentanyl is difficult to detect in other drugs because it cannot be seen or smelled.

Why Are Drugs Laced with Fentanyl?

Drugs are laced with Fentanyl because of its extreme potency. This means the drugs can have a much stronger effect and cost less when Fentanyl is added to them. However, this is what makes them much more dangerous. Many people who take illegal drugs have no way of knowing if any other substances have been added.

How Does Fentanyl Work?

Fentanyl works by binding to the areas of the brain that control emotion and pain, known as the opioid receptors. The result is that when someone uses Fentanyl over time, it can make it nearly impossible for the individual to experience any pleasant emotions without the drug. This creates a severe cycle of addiction and dependency.

What are the Short-Term Side Effects of Fentanyl?

The short-term side effects of fentanyl can include:

  • Drowsiness

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Confusion

  • Small pupils

  • Constipation

  • Slowed breathing

  • Unconsciousness

What are the Long-Term Side Effects of Fentanyl?

Long-term effects of fentanyl can increase the risk of:

  • Fentanyl overdoses

  • Heart failure

  • Heart attack

  • Bone fractures

  • Chronic constipation/bowel obstruction

  • Breathing problems

  • Immune system suppression

  • Hormonal and reproductive issues

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Severe withdrawal symptoms

Are You At Risk of an Opioid Overdose?

If you use Fentanyl, you are at risk of an overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fentanyl and other synthetic opioid drugs are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths. The CDC also states that more than 150 people die each day from drug overdoses caused by synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl.

If you are someone who uses synthetic opioid drugs, the drugs might be laced with Fentanyl and you would not know. The only way to know is by using Fentanyl test strips. However, the best way to avoid a Fentanyl overdose is to avoid using Fentanyl and other illegal drugs. If you are prescribed Fentanyl by your doctor, make sure to speak with them about the risks involved with taking the drug and to follow the instructions for dosage.

Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl overdose and opioid overdoses can include:

  • Small pupils

  • Losing consciousness or falling asleep

  • Having slow breathing or no breathing at all

  • Choking sounds

  • Having a limp body

  • Cold, clammy skin

  • Discolored skin

If you suspect someone has overdosed, you should immediately call 911 or seek medical attention. You can also lay the person on their side to prevent choking.

Treatment Options for Fentanyl Addiction

If you are addicted to Fentanyl or other opioid drugs, help is available. At Gloria Rehab, our inpatient treatment program provides you with 24-hour care and support, so that you can receive the tools you need to prevent relapse and stay sober. Additionally, our mental health services provide an added layer of support and can help identify the underlying cause of your addiction. We can also work with your insurance plan so that potentially some of your rehab costs or all of your rehab costs are covered. 

Get Treatment For Your Fentanyl Addiction

Our team at Gloria Rehab is here to help you get your life back. Each of our therapies and programs provides patients with a unique and individualized approach to care for both drug addiction and alcohol addiction, as well as co-occurring disorders. 

Contact us today to begin the treatment process. Our team is also available to answer questions related to your health insurance coverage for our therapies. 

Get Started