Since the 90s, Americans have had access to prescription opiates. Ever since we’ve been battling the opioid epidemic which has claimed the lives of hundred of thousands of individuals. Despite the efforts of government officials, families of lost individuals, and other activists that work to spread awareness, people are still dying. And in higher numbers each year. But, there is a reason for that. Dealers are now mixing their supply with extremely potent opiates used to get people hooked faster and reduce costs. One of these mixed substances is known as carfentanil and is the cause of thousands of deaths already; even though its presence on the street is fairly new. Spreading awareness about carfentanil abuse may help to prevent overdose deaths.
What is Carfentanil?
Although a recent discovery on the streets, carfentanil has actually been used for medical reasons since the 70s. Mostly, it was used in veterinary practices as an anesthetic for large animals like rhinos and elephants. Because of its extremely high potency, it was never intended for use by humans. Carfentanil is a synthetic opiate, meaning that it was created in a laboratory setting by man to mirror the components of morphine, a natural opioid. The result is a drug that is over ten thousand times the strength of morphine. So deadly that first responders and DEA agents have to wear protective masks and gloves when in contact with the substance. Overdose is possible by breathing fragments released throughout the air and even by touch.
Carfentanil Abuse: The Most Dangerous but Not the Only Threat
Currently, a big topic amongst the recovery community is fentanyl abuse. Fentanyl is another synthetic opiate that was made to mirror the likeness of morphine. And, it too is responsible for the alarming increase in opioid overdose deaths. But, even this horrific drug pales in comparison to carfentanil, as it is 100 times the strength of morphine. So, to put it into perspective, if ten thousand grams of morphine were to cause an overdose, it would take only 100 grams of fentanyl to cause the same overdose. And, even more frightening, it would only take one gram of carfentanil. Although these numbers may not be realistic (since much less of each drug may cause overdose), it’s an accurate picture of the extreme potency of each drug in comparison to one another.
If They’re So Dangerous, Why is Carfentanil Abuse a Problem?
You would think that individuals would stay away from both fentanyl and carfentanil abuse because of their extreme potency. And, you’d technically be right. The truth is that most fentanyl and carfentanil abuse is brought on by heroin dealers. Heroin is one of the most addictive illicit drugs available on the black market. But, many people develop a heroin addiction as a result of first becoming dependent on their prescription opiates. When the prescriptions run out, they turn to heroin on the streets.
Heroin dealers have been banking on the profit of these addictions since the start of the opioid epidemic and even before. But, now they’re raking in more profits than ever due to fentanyl and carfentanil abuse. To make the most money possible, dealers infuse their heroin with alternative substances to expand the product. And, to compensate for the lack of high by adding other ingredients, fentanyl or carfentanil is also added. So, most of the fentanyl and carfentanil overdoses occur when individuals aren’t even aware they are using these drugs. They think they’re using heroin.
Getting Help for Heroin, Fentanyl, and Carfentanil Abuse
The risk for developing an addiction to heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil is high with even first time use. If you or a loved one is struggling with any kind of addiction, it’s important to know that recovery is possible. But, it’s also important to know that every time you use, you’re putting your life further at risk. One of these days, you may never wake up as a result of your drug use.
And, with each passing day, that risk grows without help through treatment. If you are ready to walk away from addiction for good, the compassionate staff of The Wellness Retreat Recovery is here to support you in that decision. Additionally, we are here to provide you with the resources, therapy, environment, motivation, and education you need to be successful in recovery. Ready to talk to our admissions department about beginning your new recovery journey? Give us a call today at 888-821-0238.