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Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.

Prescription drug abuse can take over someone's life if help isn't found. It doesn’t have to be this way though. For those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away.

08-17 Understanding Carfentanil: A drug 100 times as potent as fentanyl

Posted in Drug addiction, Opioid addiction by Rachael - 0 Comments
Understanding Carfentanil: A drug 100 times as potent as fentanyl

America is reeling from the crisis of drug overdose as the nation continues to suffer from opioid and heroin epidemic. The number of Americans succumbing to drug overdoses is only increasing by the day. Looking at the dramatic rise in drug overdose cases, the Obama administration recently announced a program aimed at expanding access to opioid addiction treatment and preventing drug overdose cases.

While the nation is still fighting the menace of opioid abuse, another drug called carfentanil has entered the drug market. Referred to as one of the most potent opioids, the drug is used for sedating large animals, like elephants. Carfentanil is an analog of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid analgesic.

Naloxone may not work in extreme cases of carfentanil overdose

The arrival of carfentanil in the U.S. drug market has deteriorated the already grim situation, caused by heroin and fentanyl abuse. The drug is sold as heroin in the market or most of the users purchase it with the perception they were using to buy heroin. It is 100 times as potent as fentanyl, thus around 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Though investigators have been trying to track the source of carfentanil, they could not find it in the U.S. drug supply. It is usually procured from abroad, with Chinese companies selling the drug online, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Researches claim that carfentanil can be similar in strength to an opioid medication known as W-18, which has been found to be sold along with heroin in Philadelphia, New England, and Canada. The drug is powerful and can be fatal even if a drop of it is splattered into an individual’s eyes or nose. In humans, the activity of the drug has been found to start at about 1 microgram. This is why zoo veterinarians shield themselves from the powerful effects of the drug by wearing a face shield, gloves or any other protective gear. To tackle life-threatening cases, a reversal drug is always kept at hand.

Looking at the scenario, lawmakers have been recommending police to send the samples of the suspected heroin direct to a lab for testing. In certain cases involving carfentanil, patients have been administered several doses of antidote naloxone, also known as Narcan. However, in extreme cases, even naloxone may not work.

Help is just a call away

Some of the ways to stay away from the dangers of prescription drugs are to use medications only as per the direction of medical practitioners and for a limited period of time, to store medications at a safe place, and to keep the prescriptions only to oneself. Law enforcement agencies have introduced necessary guidelines to curb over prescription of opioids by doctors. As per the new set of guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical practitioners must prescribe opioids only when alternative medications or behavioral therapies have failed to impart the necessary impact.

Prescription drug abuse is dangerous and its overdose can be fatal. Hence, treatment at the earliest is the only solution. And complications related to prescription drug abuse should only be handled under professional supervision rather than trying to address those at home or personal level.

If a loved one is grappling with prescription drug abuse and you are clueless about how to handle it, contact the Colorado Prescription Abuse Helpline. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-922-5915 or chat online to connect to one of the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in Colorado. A complete treatment in the right prescription drug abuse rehab in Colorado will ensure that recovery is long-term.