Synthetic opioids are a dangerous trend in the drug world. These are the synthetic opioids you need to know about. If you suspect a loved one might be addicted to synthetic opioids, call for help immediately.
- Fentanyl: Fentanyl was the first synthetic opioid to start making national news. Before globally famous musician Prince was reported to have overdosed on Fentanyl, small town headlines were discussing the appearance of the synthetic opioid in toxicology reports for clusters of overdoses. Showing up in opioids and benzodiazepines, the drug quickly became a threat. Since the drug was introduced on the black market and became part of the drug culture it has claimed countless lives in the tens of thousands. Fentanyl was not always an illicit drug. Though it is a scheduled narcotic, it is a prescription medication. Fentanyl was developed as a pain treatment alternative for patients who did not respond to normal opioids for pain relief. Considered to be 100 times more powerful than morphine, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin, the drug is dangerous. Manipulated by multiple manufacturers, the drug became more potent and undetectable in a short amount of time. Most are not able to become addicted to fentanyl because it causes overdose. For those who do, there is a chronic risk of fatal overdose.
- Carfentanil: Carfentanil also wasn’t popular on the black market until synthetic opioids started becoming popular. Rather than be typically used in humans, carfentanil is a synthetic opioid used for animals. A large animal tranquilizer, Carfentanil is believed to be up to 1000 times stronger than morphine, making it a lethal threat. Buying carfentanil started happening online through drug dealers advertising designer synthetic drugs. Purchasers were unaware of how powerful the drug could be. Today, there is a sad and unfortunate trend of people harming their animals to necessitate visits to the veterinarian’s office and get a prescription for the powerful drug.
- W-18 & U-4770: Shortly after synthetic opioids start gaining popularity among drug users, analogues of fentanyl started appearing, like W-18 and U-4770. Increasing in power and strength, these analogues were developed from failed attempts at creating more synthetic opioids by major American pharmaceutical companies. Overseas manufacturers found the patent records for these drugs, which pharmaceutical companies say they never produced because the drugs were too strong. Unfortunately, the records are public and manufacturers had access.
- Gray Death: The most recent synthetic opioid to be discovered is the most troubling. Called “gray death” this cement gray powder like substance is a combination of all the synthetic opioids listed above, making it highly lethal. Most problematically, people who have overdosed on gray death could not be revived with the opioid reversal drug Narcan, making gray death the most lethal of synthetic opioids.
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