Fentanyl, a drug 50 times more potent than heroin
Prince was an American singer who will be remembered for being one of the great musical icons of the 80s. Although he was always in the shadow of Michael Jackson , was the great innovator of black music with its unique stamp that gave form to a funk-pop rather psychedelic. Some of his best known themes are: Purple Rain (1984) and Sign O'The Times (1987). Prince continued to be an innovative artist until last April, when a potent opiate called Fentanyl forever put out his voice .
Until very recently, most people did not know it was fentanyl, which in recent months has become one of the favorite drugs of Mexican cartels. This is because it is a very powerful and very popular substance in United States. In fact, it is a very profitable drug, according to the North American authorities.
There are many types of drugs. Learn more about the different psychoactive substances in our article: "Types of drugs: know their characteristics and effects"
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is one of the most potent opioids found in the market .
It is used as an anesthetist in the operating room, for the breakthrough pain of cancer and for recovery from surgery. It is a potent synthetic opiate agonist, belonging to the group of narcotics, derived from phenylpiperidine, and is very soluble in lipids.
Structurally it is similar to meperidine, alfentanil, and sufentanil. Fentanyl was synthesized for the first time in 1960 by a Belgian pharmacist , but in recent months it has burst through the streets of American and Canadian towns and cities, becoming an epidemic that is leaving a trail of dead.
Forms of administration, effects and hazards
Fentanyl comes in several forms: injection, skin patch, buccal film, or lollipop device, immediate dissolution tablets with intrabuccal absorption and fentanyl inhalers. Injection is usually usual in hospitals. And for the individual who uses it outside the hospital environment it is extremely dangerous , because the difference between the therapeutic dose and the lethal dose is very small.
As with other opioids, the most common symptoms of its abuse are: euphoria, analgesia, drowsiness or lethargy. Fentanyl causes tolerance to high doses, so a dose that is appropriate can vary from week to week.
There are many unwanted symptoms that can appear with the consumption of this opiate:
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Dry mouth
- Urinary retention
- Suppression of breathing
- Severe constipation
- Itching or hives
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty to see
- Difficulty to sleep
- Swelling in the extremities
Fentanyl addiction: the new epidemic in the United States
It may be that fentanyl has become popular around the globe because of Prince's death, but the truth is that for some time drug traffickers have realized the potential business of this drug in the illegal market. An exhaustive medical examination of the pop star confirmed the death of an overdose due to the consumption of this substance, ending weeks of speculation.
Since then, in the United States there are several organizations that have sent a warning signal for the increase in the consumption of fentanyl in this country (also in its neighboring country, Canada). Because the most potent analgesic used by doctors is being sold on the streets, causing several deaths. As explained by the Centers for Disease Control at the CNN, "We are facing a new public health crisis".
In addition, as confirmed by the US authorities located on the border with Mexico: "The Mexican cartels not only receive cargoes of fentanyl from China. It has been detected that they themselves are producing this drug in their clandestine laboratories , because the demand for opiates by US citizens is growing. "
A highly dangerous and deadly drug
The drug experts are worried, well in the United States there are still deaths almost daily . A few weeks ago, the British newspaper Subway reported the dangers of this drug and confirmed the death of 10 people in just twelve days in the state of Sacramento.
One of the victims was Jerome Bruner, who died after consuming fentanyl thinking that it was a little dangerous analgesic.His mother, Natasha, told the newspaper itself: "His organs were affected, his liver was affected, his kidneys were affected. His brain was swollen. The doctor said he could not do anything to save his life. "
The Administration for Drug Control of the United States states: "Fentanyl manufactured illegally is 20 to 100 times more potent than heroin. The drug used to treat the pain caused by cancer is very strong and can easily overdose, even to the habitual users of hard drugs. "
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