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Fentanyl belongs to the opoid drug class and its history predates 50 years. Masterminded by Paul Janssen in 1960, the medication was approved for medicinal use eight years later (1968). The chemical formula for fentanyl is represented as C22H28N2O.

Fentanyl, also spelled Fentanil, is an opoid that was used in conjunction with other medicines as a treatment for anesthesia and sole use as pain medication. Application is applied every 15-30 minutes throughout medical surgeries to maintain and stabilize the patients heart rate and blood pressure throughout the procedure.

A Rise in Use

The opoid based drug is only medically approved to treat seriously wounded patients, however in 1999 a rise in the use of fentanyl was caused by pharmaceutical companies promoting the product without understanding the dangers it could pose. Figures of non-cancer related usage reached up to 86% and in certain states, where the drug was available over the counter, founded the beginning of the fentanyl crisis.

The following decade saw the use of fentanyl grow evermore with overdose deaths rising from 38,329 in 2010 to 70,237 in 2017. The year on year bar chart shows an extreme incline starting.


Sources: CDC – Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2018

 

How Strong is Fentanyl?

It comes without a doubt the strength of fentanyl  is significant as it is used to reduce pain during surgeries but how strong are the effects of fentanyl? Common questions asked are usually either, how much stronger is fentanyl than morphine? Or alternatively, how much stronger is fentanyl than oxycodone?

To put the strength of fentanyl  into perspective, oxycodone is 50% more powerful than morphine. In comparison, fentanyl is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. The info-graphic below represents a reflection of how strong and dangerous fentanyl is alongside staggering statistics of the rise in it’s use and deaths.

 

fentanyl infographic
Source: Center for Disease Control

The application of fentanyl takes form in patches and should not be taken for mild or moderate pain medication. Further requirements of taking fentanyl for medicinal purposes only include having taken other opoid drugs previously, for a minimum of a week, to ensure your body can withstand the dosage.

If you know anyone suffering from fentanyl abuse illegally and need help finding an accredited professional in San Diego, California speak to one of our team today to see how we can assist in rehabilitation.

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