Fentanyl Abuse & Addiction in Ohio
There is a public health crisis all across America. The opioid epidemic is taking many lives each day. One of the opioids that is the worst offender is fentanyl. This is one of the strongest and most dangerous opiates. While the entire country has taken a hit from this crisis, Ohio is no exception.
One of the most dangerous ways that people are abusing fentanyl is by missing it with other opioids like heroin. There has been an increase in drug-related deaths due to the mixing of fentanyl and other drugs.
What is Fentanyl and Fentanyl Abuse?
Fentanyl is an opiate. While Ohio has a problem with all opioids, the problem with fentanyl is that it is extremely potent. In medical settings, it is used to treat severe cases of pain. It is often only prescribed following major surgery or for cancer patients. This is because it is considered to be 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. In certain cases, it may be used to treat chronic pain as well.
Fentanyl is sold under the brand names Duragesic, Actiq and Sublimaze as well as some others. Some of the street names for the drug include China white, apache and China girl. In many cases, when fentanyl is sold illegally on the street, it is mixed with other powerful drugs, and this can cause people who take it to overdose right away.
Fentanyl Addiction: Is Fentanyl Addictive?
Fentanyl is certainly addictive just as any opioid is. It binds to specific receptors in the brain and also the central nervous system, and it impacts the areas of the brain and body that regulate pain and emotions. When it does bind to the opioid receptors, the brain becomes flooded with dopamine. This is what causes people to take it to experience a high.
Because the brain’s reward centers respond when fentanyl is taken, the brain begins to seek out the substance, and this is how an addiction begins.
Fentanyl also can create a physical dependence, which is different from a psychological addiction. When someone develops a physical dependence, the body is able to function normally without the substance. If someone is in this stage and they stop taking fentanyl, they will experience withdrawal symptoms.
When someone overdoses on fentanyl, the respiratory system slows down to the point where all breathing stops. The risk is particularly high if someone takes fentanyl without knowing they are taking the drug.
Fentanyl Patch Addiction
Fentanyl patches are provided in a medical setting as a way to deliver a certain amount of the painkilling drug to a patient. These patches go right on the skin, and then the medicine is delivered in a time-released way. Because of this, people frequently wonder whether or not fentanyl patches are also addictive.
In fact, fentanyl patches are extremely addictive as they can also produce a high feeling and lead to abuse or addiction. Some people abuse fentanyl patches by wearing more than one at a time or changing them out more frequently than they are supposed to. Some people even chew the patches to swallow the medicine or they may inject the gel from the patches.
Abusing fentanyl patches in this way is incredibly dangerous. These patches are meant to deliver the medication over time so when the dose is ingested all at once, it can be extremely risky. This is when the risk for overdose dramatically increases.
All throughout Ohio, fentanyl is a significant problem. There are so many different ways that people are abusing the substance, and many people even take it without knowing they are taking it, which can often lead to overdose. It’s not just the bigger cities like Cleveland or Columbus that are being affected. All through the state – in rural areas as well as urban and suburban – people are succumbing to opioid addiction and having problems with drugs like fentanyl.
Deaths due to opioids have majorly increased as a result of the rising popularity of fentanyl. Fortunately, if you or someone you love is facing fentanyl addiction, there are many treatment options that are available to you. Treatment facilities such as The Recovery Village Columbus offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for the treatment of fentanyl addiction.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ” Fentanyl.” February 16, 2021. Accessed April 22, 2021.
- Mattson CL, Tanz LJ, Quinn K, Kariisa M, Patel P, Davis NL. “Trends and Geographic Patterns in Drug and Synthetic Opioid Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2019.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 12, 2021. Accessed April 22, 2021.
- NIDA. “Ohio: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. April 3, 2020 Accessed April 22, 2021.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village Columbus aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.