The best way to truly comprehend the prevalence and dangers of fentapills is to take a look at the statistics. Since 2014, the number of people poisoned by counterfeit fentapills has dramatically increased. At any given time, millions of fentapills are being manufactured and sold in the U.S.
Approximately 10,000 people died in 2020 after taking a single fentapill. These unfortunate individuals thought they were taking legitimate prescription medications. Sadly, many of the victims are between the ages of 14 to 24 and have been experimenting with occasional recreational drug use.
What Are Fentapills?
Fentapills is a term used to describe black-market pills that contain the deadly drug, Fentanyl. The pills are skillfully designed to look like pharmaceutical-grade medications such as Percocet, Xanax, Oxycodone, Adderall, and Vicodin.
Individuals who use prescription drugs recreationally can’t tell the difference between legitimate pills and fentapills. Overdose deaths continue to rise daily because of this problem.
Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine and is highly addictive. It has a small therapeutic window, meaning the amount it takes to get high and the amount it takes to cause a fatal overdose is narrow. Since fentapill manufacturers operate without any quality control measures, any pill can contain a deadly amount of the drug.
Deadly Misconceptions About Fentapills
One of the most common misconceptions about fentapills is that they are the same as prescription drugs with an added kick supplied by fentanyl. Here are two reasons why this misconception often leads to fatal overdoses:
- Fentapills are 100% fake. They are not legitimate medications that contain trace amounts of fentanyl. They are made entirely of fentanyl. It is the only active ingredient. In other words, fentapills are not adulterated versions of the real drug.
- Fentapill victims don’t overdose, they are poisoned. Generally, it’s not possible to overdose on a single legitimate prescription pill. When someone overdoses, it is often the dealer who is to blame. They sell the poisonous pills to unsuspecting buyers who had no intention of taking fentanyl.
Currently, advocates for overdose prevention are working to hold dealers accountable for overdose deaths. According to New York State Senator Catharine Young, member of the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction:
“The heroin and opioid epidemic is a public health crisis of unprecedented proportions. One of the contributing factors fueling both addiction and overdose deaths is the drug dealers who are lacing heroin with fentanyl to produce a more powerful high, creating a deadly concoction that can kill quickly. They are deliberately selling death for profit and they need to be charged accordingly.”
The measure makes it easier to prosecute dealers for overdose deaths as a Class A-1 felony with penalties of up to 15 to 25 years in prison.
Unique Characteristics of Fentapills
In addition to being a subset of the opioid crisis, the fentapill epidemic has some distinctive characteristics:
- Counterfeit fentapills are often advertised on social media targeting young people who are seeking legitimate prescription pills.
- The victims of fentapills unknowingly purchased and consumed the deadly substance.
- Young people are targeted by drug dealers because they are inexperienced and trusting.
After the government cracked down on the prescription pill black market in the early 2000s, small-time dealers sought alternatives to keep their enterprises profitable. They began smuggling fentanyl and pressing it into pills. Since 2015, almost all fentapills have been smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.
You can compare fentapills to legitimate pills on the United States Drug Enforcement (DEA) website. However, they warn that you should not rely solely on your eyes to determine whether a pill is legitimate.
Avoid the Dangers of Fentapills with Help from Design for Change Recovery
If you experiment with recreational opioid use, the risk of becoming a fentapill victim is high. A dealer cannot be trusted to expose the truth about what is in the drug he’s selling. We encourage you to take steps now to protect yourself from the dangers of fentapills. The best way to reduce your risk of fentapill overdose is to seek professional addiction treatment.
At Design for Change Recovery, we offer a customized, evidence-based treatment program for opioid addictions, including fentanyl addiction. We are deeply concerned about the prevalence of fentanyl use and overdoses in America today. It is our mission to save lives by providing effective treatment that leads to lasting results.
Our treatment program includes a continuum of care focused on addressing the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of addiction simultaneously. With this approach to treatment, we give clients a chance to heal and recover from every aspect of their addiction.
Learn more about our program options by contacting our Lancaster, CA facility today. One of our representatives will discuss our services with you and recommend a treatment plan specifically for your needs.