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What are the signs and symptoms of Fentanyl and Carfentanil abuse?

Fentanyl and Carfentanil are synthetic opiates. They are both white powders. Neither drug should be touched with bare hands, tasted, or inhaled. Opiates are strong analgesics, meaning they are designed to relieve severe pain. They also produce euphoria, meaning they diminish one’s emotional response or distress due to pain. Fentanyl is a particularly strong opiate intended for relief of pain from terminal cancer, to assist with anesthesia for surgical procedures, and for post-operative pain management. Heroin is 10 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than Morphine. Heroin is never sold in its pure form; it will be cut with inert, low cost ingredients such as baking soda, confectionary sugar, or mannitol to maximize weight and volume, and therefore profit for the dealer. Any water soluble white powder can be used to cut heroin. The actual amount of heroin in a given batch might only be 10% or less. Fentanyl is mixed into heroin by drug dealers to increase the strength of the product, while minimizing the volume of actual heroin sold to a user. This again maximizes profit for the dealer.

Carfentanil is another opiate being used for cutting heroin. Carfentanil is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Carfentanil is used for a very specific patient population: 

  1. Elephants
  2. Rhinoceros
  3. Hippopotami
  4. Bison

Carfentanil is used as a sedative for very large mammals. A microgram of Carfentanil will produce analgesic and euphoric effects in a 200 lb. person. One microgram is 1/1,000,000 of a gram. To give you an idea how small a microgram is imagine a few grains of salt. One of those grains would be about one microgram. Carfentanil is so potent that if it is inhaled or gets on bare skin in can result in a fatal overdose. Drug seeking K-9’s cannot be used to detect Carfentanil because if they inhale it the dog could die of an overdose. Law enforcement officers cannot do field tests on suspected heroin cut with Carfentanil as it is unsafe to handle. There have been numerous reports of heroin cut with Carfentanil. The effects of the Carfentanil will be enhanced when it is mixed with heroin, making the lethal does even lower.  

The grains of Celtic Sea salt near Lincoln’s face would equal the weight of an amount of Carfentanil large enough to overdose about 100 people. 


How Fentanyl and Carfentanil are used?

As Fentanyl and Carfentanil are both mixed with heroin bought on the street, the drugs will be either injected intravenously, or snorted, and less commonly smoked. Users are seeking the euphoric effects of heroin, which in the absence of severe pain will initially feel orgasmic. The user will then get a very relaxed, drowsy, peaceful, warm feeling that will persist for hours. Imagine the feeling of rolling over to hit the snooze button on a cold winter morning, under layers of sheets, blankets and a comforter, snuggling with someone you love. You are so warm and relaxed and comfortable you don’t want to move. You want to just lay there and savor that feeling. But you have adult obligations and responsibilities, so you reluctantly disengage, put your bare feet on the cold floor, and start the day.

Imagine this pleasant feeling enhanced many times, combined with a complete indifference and apathy about your responsibilities such as getting up to go to work or school, clean your home, or tend to your children. Once your body adapts to the heroin, you will become violently ill about 12 to 24 hours after your last dose. You will experience fever, sweating, nausea, vomiting diarrhea, cramps, headache, goosebumps, chills, watery eyes, and a runny nose. Basically, this will feel like the worst flu you ever had times 10. Addicts will do anything to get this fake pleasure and avoid the real pain. They will care nothing that the heroin they bought on the street may be cut with a drug designed to sedate an elephant, and that will kill a person in seconds. 

Short-term and long-term risks of using Fentanyl and Carfentanil

The short term effects are very simple and straightforward: Respiratory depression, leading to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. There are no long term effects because the user will be dead. Even when Fentanyl is administered by a physician, things can go wrong. It is relatively easy to overdose on. If Fentanyl is taken in unknown amounts, mixed with heroin, it is very dangerous. Fatal overdoses of heroin cut with Fentanyl are on the rise in many jurisdictions. There is no safe amount of Carfentanil for a person. This is a drug designed for animals that weigh at least about 20 times more than a large adult. 

With the proliferation of Fentanyl and Carfentanil in heroin, this is an especially dangerous time to use illicit opiates. These drugs are killing people in record numbers. If you are using, you are on borrowed time. Get professional help. 

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