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How Fentanyl is used and abused

How Fentanyl is used and abused

There are myriad forms of exposure to fentanyl and it can be added to almost anything.  It can be injected, inhaled, ingested orally in pill form, or absorbed by the skin via transdermal patches. It is also available as powder, lollipops (transmucosal lozenges) or spiked onto blotter paper. It’s even been found in eye drop and nasal spray solutions.

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl has been identified in counterfeit pills, imitating drugs such as oxycodone or other prescription opioids. As mentioned above it is sometimes combined with illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine and ingested unwittingly by a drug abuser.

Each individual’s reaction is different and determined by variables such as size, weight, and general state of health. New users are susceptible to fatal overdose with even tiny doses the equivalent of a few grains of sugar.

Its addictive qualities are intense. Firstly, as the body builds up tolerance with repeated use, larger doses will be demanded to achieve the high the drug abuser is seeking.  Additionally, its half-life, comparative to other drugs is rapid. Within hours, the high is gone, the addict once again feels emptiness and his body begins to press for yet another dose.For more information about the opioid reversal drug naloxone, visit: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/naloxone