Fentanyl has become a popular pain medication. This pain reliever, provided only via prescription, can help to soothe even the most severe pain. It can be vital help to people who just can’t find relief in any other way. It’s also a popular drug of abuse. People who take the drug experience a surge in happy emotions and feelings of euphoria when consumed. Destmethyl fentanyl is a dangerous relative of fentanyl.
Not Legal, Not Tested
Fentanyl is purchased at a pharmacy. Many teens who abuse the drug find it in a medicine cabinet. But desmethyl fentanyl, a substance often used, comes from a different source. This might help to describe how dangerous this drug is.
Desmethyl fentanyl is made in labs, often in Mexico, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. This substance is dangerous. It isn’t legal within the United States. The products sold by dealers aren’t tested for purity or strength, and the products aren’t guaranteed to be free of contaminants.
There aren’t even specific recipes available in order to make this drug. Each dealer is allowed to make the drug using any method that seems workable, and the products are sold on the street to the highest bidder.
Teens who take these drugs are trusting they aren’t contaminated with other substances that could harm them. There’s no evidence to suggest that this kind of trust is merited.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for dealers to mix in all sorts of things with their products, including:
Some doses are stronger than others, meaning that some users could overdose. Other batches contain random unknown elements that can be life-threatening.
Even if the drugs aren’t tainted, they could produce changes that users don’t expect, because the drug is so strong. People who take fentanyl and fentanyl analogues become accustomed to the way the drug works. Their bodies go into a protective mode to ensure that huge amounts of damage don’t take place. These people may be able to take larger amounts of drugs without running the risk of overdosing.
Just a little whiff of the drug, sniffed by police officers wearing protective gear during a raid, sent four police officers to the hospital. Those who intentionally take in the drug may have reactions that are even more extreme.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14 deaths in Rhode Island are due to this new form of fentanyl. 10 of those deaths took place within a single month. These users may have just been overwhelmed by the doses they took, and their bodies just shut down in the process. It’s also possible that they didn’t get the help they needed fast enough.
Most who enter emergency rooms with drug-related symptoms are tested to determine what they’ve taken. With this information, medical professionals can design a proper course of treatment. Unfortunately, desmethyl fentanyl doesn’t show up on many of these screening tests. In fact, a laboratory in Pennsylvania only developed and released a test for this drug in June of 2013, in response to a request from the CDC.
The dangers of overdose are serious and they’re also quite easy to understand, but some of the real dangers of this drug tend to remain hidden. For example, this is a drug that’s designed to be injected. Users don’t smoke the drug, place it in food or let it dissolve under the tongue. They load a needle with the drug and plunge that needle beneath the skin. To curb drug use, many communities have made syringes difficult to obtain. As a result, many people who abuse drugs like this share needles with other people who use drugs. They may contract blood-borne diseases in the process, including HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. Some users also inject bacteria with their needles, and develop infections due to this.
In addition to these concerns, people who are on desmethyl fentanyl can also feel heavy sedation.
When people are high like this, they might be more likely to:
- Fall and get injured
- Endure a sexual assault
- Become a victim of a robbery
- Hurt someone while driving
They’re just not in charge of their bodies and aware of their surroundings, and all sorts of terrible things can take place.
The key is to address substance use disorder in the early stages. When the drug abuse is new you have a better chance of survival. Sometimes, teens need only a firm talk from their parents about the nature of addiction to stop their behaviors for good.
Those who have been abusing desmethyl fentanyl for long periods of time might need more than just a talk. They might need medication management and counseling to understand how to change their lives. This is the kind of help we provide at Newport Academy, and we’d like to help your child. Please call to find out more about our programs.