Fentanyl is the deadliest drug our nation has ever encountered. It’s everywhere; no community is safe. That’s why it’s important to know the basics about this highly addictive synthetic opioid that continues to drive the overdose epidemic.
What Does Fentanyl Do? Like heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. After taking opioids over time, the brain can adapt to the drug, diminishing its sensitivity and making it hard to feel pleasure from anything besides the drug. When people become addicted, drug seeking and drug use take over their lives.
How Do I Know Someone is Using Fentanyl? Fentanyl’s effects include:
- extreme happiness
- problems breathing
Can You Overdose on Fentanyl? Yes, fentanyl is a now a leading cause of drug overdose. An overdose occurs when a drug produces serious adverse effects and life-threatening symptoms. When we overdose on fentanyl, our breathing can slow or stop. This can then decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches our brain, a condition called hypoxia. Hypoxia can lead to a coma and permanent brain damage, and even death.
Next week, we’ll take a look at fentanyl addiction.