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Why Are Drugs Laced With Fentanyl?

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Fentanyl is a potent and highly addictive stimulant drug that can have severe consequences for those who use it. Addiction to fentanyl can result in physical and psychological dependence, overdose, and a range of life-threatening health problems that can manifest suddenly or over time. Despite the risks, many individuals struggle with fentanyl addiction on a daily basis due to its addictive properties. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome fentanyl addiction and begin the journey towards recovery, Guardian Recovery is here to help.

Recovering from fentanyl addiction can be an extremely challenging process, but it is crucial for reclaiming one’s life and reaching their full potential. At Guardian Recovery, we offer personalized and effective treatment services that prioritize compassionate care and education for those who are ready to take control of their addiction. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you on your journey to recovery, please contact us today.

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Why Are Drugs Laced with Fentanyl?

The use of fentanyl-laced drugs has become a growing concern in recent years (1), particularly in North America, where the opioid epidemic has claimed countless lives. Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that is estimated to be up to 100 times stronger than morphine and is often used medically for severe pain relief, such as in cases of cancer or surgery. However, when used illicitly, it can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.

Reasons for Fentanyl Lacing

The reasons why a drug could be laced with fentanyl are varied. The most common reasons are:

  • Cheap Production – One reason is that fentanyl is relatively cheap to produce and can be mixed into other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, to increase their potency. Drug dealers may use fentanyl to stretch their supplies and make more profit. They may also do this to keep customers coming back for more, as the higher potency of fentanyl-laced drugs can create a stronger addiction.
  • Cutting Agent – Another reason is that fentanyl is often used as a cutting agent in the drug supply chain. Cutting agents are substances that are mixed with drugs to dilute them and increase their volume. In the case of fentanyl, it can be mixed with other drugs to make them more profitable for dealers. This is particularly true for heroin, which is often cut with other substances, such as fentanyl or other opioids, to increase its weight and value.
  • Supply and Demand – Fentanyl-laced drugs are also becoming more prevalent due to changes in drug supply and demand. In recent years, there has been a shift towards the use of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, as they are easier to produce and more profitable than traditional drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. This has led to an increase in the availability of fentanyl-laced drugs on the market.

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Dangers of Fentanyl Lacing

The use of fentanyl-laced drugs is particularly dangerous, as users may not be aware of the potency of the drug they are consuming. Even small amounts of fentanyl can cause an overdose, leading to respiratory failure and death (2). This is particularly true for individuals who are not opioid-tolerant, as they are more likely to overdose on smaller doses of the drug.

In addition, the use of fentanyl-laced drugs can also lead to other health problems, such as infections and diseases, due to the unregulated nature of the drug supply chain. These drugs may be mixed with other harmful substances, such as talcum powder or rat poison, which can lead to serious health complications.

How To Tell If a Drug is Laced With Fentanyl

It can be difficult to determine whether a drug is laced with fentanyl as the drug is often added without the user’s knowledge. However, there are some signs and symptoms that could indicate fentanyl use or exposure:

  • Overdose – Fentanyl is a highly potent drug, and even a small amount can cause an overdose. Signs of overdose include shallow breathing, blue lips or nails, pinpoint pupils, and unconsciousness.
  • Stronger high – Fentanyl is much stronger than other opioids, and its effects can be felt with even a small amount. If a drug’s effects seem to be much stronger than usual, it could be an indication of fentanyl use.
  • Different appearance – Fentanyl can be added to other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, to increase their potency. If the drug’s appearance is different than usual or has an unusual smell, it could be a sign that it has been laced with fentanyl.
  • Testing – There are drug testing kits available that can detect the presence of fentanyl in a drug sample. These kits can be used to test drugs before use or to test urine samples for recent fentanyl use.

It’s important to note that fentanyl use and exposure can be extremely dangerous and can lead to life-threatening health problems. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have been exposed to fentanyl, seek medical attention immediately.

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Our team at Guardian Recovery is composed of dedicated professionals who specialize in addiction recovery. Our primary objective is not only to help individuals overcome addiction but also to address the root causes of their addiction. Our specialized programs cater to those dealing with fentanyl addiction by guiding them towards building meaningful and satisfying lives. We offer a comprehensive approach to addiction recovery, which includes individual and group therapy, peer support, and aftercare services. To know more about our services, please contact us today.

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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/fentanyl
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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