Naloxone has been referred to as the miracle drug. By brand name Narcan, the opioid reversal drug has brought back countless lives from the brink of death after an opioid overdose. Most commonly administered as a nasal spray, naloxone instantaneously binds with the brain’s opioid receptors and blocks them, without chemical interaction. Meaning, it stops the process of chemical bondage to the receptors which is what creates the effects of opioid drugs.
As the synthetic opioid fentanyl has become more popular and gained widespread availability, naloxone has become more important than ever. Fentanyl was created for patients who did not naturally metabolize morphine. For pain management purposes, doctors prescribed fentanyl instead of traditional opioid drugs which are a combination of morphine and acetaminophen. In order for a synthetic substance to work as potentially as a naturally occurring substance, the fentanyl has to be strong. Reportedly, fentanyl can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine, which is already a potent drug.
Fentanyl didn’t become a popular commodity on the street until recently. Heroin and other opioid drugs are being sold laced with fentanyl. In those who the dangerous drug does not cause an instant overdose it causes a serious and often deadly addiction. Overdose deaths on opioids accounted for more fatalities in America in 2015 than car accidents and gun violence. Thankfully, naloxone has become more available to counteract the opioid overdose imminent from fentanyl.
Now, America is facing a problem. In lieu of a sudden wave of resistance against fentanyl and the opioid epidemic, drug manufacturers have made the illegal form of the drug stronger. Parts of the country like Pennsylvania have reported that an analogue of fentanyl is narcan-resistant. When someone overdoses on this new strand of fentanyl, administering the opioid overdose reversal drug does not work. Called “acrylfentanyl” the new drug has officials worried across the country as the opioid epidemic increasingly strengthens its front. As of right now, acry fentanyl has not made the list of illegal substances, which can take time. Synthetic substance vary so subtly and come in so often that the DEA and other government offices have a hard time catching up.
If you or a loved one are struggling from opioid addiction, there is hope for you in recovery. Design for Change offers detox and treatment options created to help you change your life one step at a time. Everyone is capable of change. At Design For Change, everyone is capable of recovery. For more information, call us today at (877) 267-3646.