Fentanyl has been one of the contributors to the opioid epidemic in the US ever since. There are 3 million Americans who are struggling with opioid addiction.
In Texas alone, an estimated 2,500 opioid-related overdose deaths were reported in 2021. And 92% of this number is because of fentanyl.
But how did this happen?
Why is fentanyl still available when it is the cause of multiple deaths in every state?
What Is Fentanyl and What Is It Used For?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid developed in the 1960s to act as a painkiller. It has been an important pain medication ever since. When used, it blocks the pain signal from the brain by binding itself to the body’s pain receptors.
Also, while blocking the pain, it increases the dopamine in the bloodstream, which produces intense pleasure and euphoria.
Fentanyl was synthesized in 1960 by a Belgian chemist named Dr. Paul Janssen. He had spent years synthesizing the most potent painkiller that significantly helps the medical community.
Although it was synthesized in 1960, the US FDA did not approve it immediately because of its likelihood of being a substance of abuse. The US only approved its use in 1968.
The drug was widely used in cardiac and vascular surgery in the late 70s and early 80s. In the 1990s, several forms of fentanyl medication emerged, like a transdermal patch that contains fentanyl to help patients who developed tolerance to other painkillers. A lollipop-like product to alleviate cancer patients’ pain. Also, effervescent lozenges, tablets, and buccal spray.
Until today, fentanyl is still used to treat chronic pain. However, it is a controlled drug today. Because of its potency, doctors are stricter in prescribing it to patients.
Unfortunately, illegal laboratories started to make fentanyl. And most of the time, it is mixed with other narcotics, which makes it more deadly when taken in excess.
Why Do People Use Fentanyl Illegally?
People who abuse fentanyl have different reasons why they are using it. One reason is their mental health illness, like depression and anxiety.
Because fentanyl produces a euphoric feeling, people struggling with mental health disorders abuse it to feel good and away from haunting emotions.
The second reason, some people are living with chronic pain. Even though fentanyl should not be used for a long period. Prolonged use of this drug can create tolerance and dependence, which causes people to use higher and higher doses every time. Because fentanyl is a controlled drug, they will resort to buying it from illegal sources.
To date, the number of people using it for their mental health disorders, chronic pain, and even recreation is consistently increasing.
How to Battle Fentanyl Addiction with Skyward Treatment?
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