With every passing day, the trend of abusing opioids and alcohol is swiftly growing, raising the concerns of health regulating and narcotic controlling authorities. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report over 16 million Americans suffering from alcoholism and about 91 people die in the US every day due to opioid overdoses.
As a matter of fact, there are 500,000 cases of overdose deaths caused by narcotic painkillers in the past fifteen years. Introduction of fentanyl as an illicit drug in the US in 2012 has aggravated the amount of overdoses substantially.
Fentanyl is an opioid painkiller. It is a highly potent drug and works in a similar fashion as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. Some reports portray that it is drug even stronger than heroin, an illicit opioid substance that is also widely abused.
Fentanyl is a prescription drug, often prescribed to deal with severe pain conditions for cancer-suffering patients. It has significant medical benefits but can turn out to be really dangerous when abused. According to a report, the trend of misusing fentanyl has increased substantially in the past couple of years.
The reason for fentanyl becoming a common illicit drug is the fact that it is developed in various potent forms and then sold illegally at a price lower than heroin. It is also sold as a substitute for many narcotics which lead the abusers to misuse it and cause fatal overdose incidents. This drug has the ability to slow breathing rate and constrict a person’s respiratory system, causing death. The potency of fentanyl is so high that accidental overdoses can be experienced just from coming into physical contact with the substance.
There is a widespread practice of mixing fentanyl with other illicit drugs and alcohol. This is usually done with the intention of getting an increased euphoric impact. This can be quite risky as it makes you more exposed to the risk of overdose and increases the potential for addiction. The most common drugs that fentanyl is stacked with are Xanax and heroin. It is also mixed with alcohol to achieve an intensified impact. The dangers of fentanyl mixing with these illicit substances are discussed below:
Fentanyl and Xanax
Xanax is a benzodiazepine and a prescription sedative. It is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. Xanax is misused by some people and is often self-medicated. Users tend to consume Xanax to overcome anxiety-related negative feelings and embrace a sense of relaxation that comes with the drug. Xanax has been found to be laced with fentanyl and sold in illicit markets.
Combining the two drugs intensifies the effect produced. As much as the effect can be appealing for the user, it is extremely dangerous. Factually, the majority of the users rarely know that they are actually consuming fentanyl with Xanax. However, there are people who intentionally stack the two drugs to enhance the overall impact caused by the opioids.
There are essential dangers of mixing fentanyl with Xanax. The risk escalates significantly because of the fact that people using contaminated Xanax do so without actually knowing it. They do not have as much tolerance for opioids as other users, making this mixing fatal for some. Users are at more risk of overdoses and obstructed respiratory system. The Fentanyl and Xanax combination can cause loss of consciousness as well as increase the possibility of developing an addiction. Moreover, it can increase the risk of communicable diseases.
Fentanyl and Heroin
As with Xanax, it is quite possible that users do not mix fentanyl with other drugs intentionally. Rather, they are unaware that the drugs they are being offered are contaminated. Fake fentanyl is widely distributed in the illicit market which poses substantial harm to users without their knowledge.
Heroin is often substituted with fake fentanyl in order to achieve an elevated high without having to purchase as much of the substance. Moreover, being 40 to 50 times more potent than heroin, the drug can be made more addictive for the users due to enhanced effects. This ultimately builds an immensely profitable market for the illicit drug sellers.
Chemically, heroin and fentanyl are both nonpolar molecules that are soluble in fat. This makes them easier to pass through the blood-brain barrier, intended to keep radical elements away from the brain. This enables these drugs to have a direct impact on the central nervous system and make the brain increasingly dependent. Mixing the drug with heroin can cause fatal overdoses and intensified addiction. It can also impact the reasoning abilities of an individual and prevent them from adequately assessing their decisions.
Fentanyl and Alcohol
Mixing any opioid with alcohol is exceedingly dangerous and has fatal consequences. Alcohol and opioids both are central nervous system depressants and can enhance each other’s impact. If you are on a fentanyl prescription, you are strongly warned not to mix it with alcohol, so as to avoid any acute consequence. The combination can be undeniably deadly.
Combining fentanyl with alcohol and overdosing on them can initiate a number of reactions and symptoms. These include extreme confusion, low body temperature (hypothermia), seizures, vomiting, slowed heart rate, and shallow or obstructed breathing. It is never safe to mix alcohol with any and all sorts of opioids and illicit drugs. Mixing fentanyl with alcohol can put you at great risk of overdose and irrevocable bodily damages.
The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that over 13,000 samples of individual illicit drugs were comprised of fentanyl in 2015. In the preceding years, this number was limited to 934 and 7,864 in 2013 and 2014 respectively. This showcases how rapidly the practice of fentanyl contamination is increasing, putting users in the face of substantial risk.
If you have fentanyl addiction, or you know someone with the problem, it is important to get immediate help to avoid any unpleasant incident. Getting the right help at the right time can make for wondrous change. If you are wondering where to start from, contact us today and let our experts guide you on how you can overcome your dependence on fentanyl or any other illicit drug. Scottsdale Recovery Center has a legacy of offering the best rehab services to its clients. We aim to make your life better by helping you embrace a more positive and healthy lifestyle.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.