What Is The Carfentanil Drug?
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. The presence of carfentanil in illicit U.S. drug markets is cause for concern, as the relative strength of this drug could lead to an increase in overdoses and overdose-related deaths, even among opioid-tolerant users.
The presence of the carfentanil drug poses a significant threat to first responders and law enforcement personnel who may come in contact with this substance. In any situation where any fentanyl-related substance, such as carfentanil, might be present, law enforcement should carefully follow safety protocols to avoid accidental exposure.
Even for medical purposes, carfentanil drug use is NOT approved or safe for human use because even a small amount of the drug can be deadly. Some drug dealers mix carfentanil and fentanyl into heroin and cocaine due to their similar white powder-like substance. Since carfentanil is so potent, it is much easier to smuggle small amounts of powder than heroin and fentanyl.
This practice is extremely dangerous for people intending to take heroin or cocaine because they could ingest the carfentanil drug without knowing it. There are a few common signs of misuse to help identify someone experiencing a carfentanil high.
How does the Carfentanil Drug look like?
The Carfentanil drug is colorless and odorless when in liquid form, but it can come in the form of a pale yellow or white powder. It can be injected, smoked, snorted, or absorbed into the skin. Although it produces similar side effects to other opioids, such as euphoria, sedation, and dizziness, another side effect is respiratory depression. Due to its potency, one of the most common side effects of carfentanil in people is overdose, which can cause respiratory depression and death.
Even a small 2 mg carfentanil dosage can be deadly to a person. This drug can be purchased online or on the streets and is often used as a cutting agent in other drugs like heroin and fentanyl when sold on the streets, increasing the risks of overdose and other complications.
Carfentanil Drug Street Names & Signs Of Abuse
Similar to fentanyl overdose, Carfentanil drug overdose is a growing problem in the United States, which is why it’s important to identify some of the signs of carfentanil misuse. Signs of carfentanil drug misuse include trying to buy carfentanil online or using one of the many carfentanil street names, including:
- Drop dead
- Grey death
- Serial killer
If someone is casually using any of these names, looking to buy carfentanil online, or interested in taking heroin, fentanyl, or cocaine, they might be misusing carfentanil. If so, they are in danger of not only overdosing but of building a physical dependence and addiction to opioids.
Even if someone is unknowingly taking carfentanil, they could still ingest the drug into their system and run the risk of sustaining a severe injury or building a dependence on opioids. Carfentanil is so potent that it has the potential to be absorbed through the skin, so accidental ingestion is also possible.
Symptoms Of Carfentanil Drug Abuse
Since the substance can be mixed with other similar-looking drugs, carfentanil misuse often goes undetected until it’s too late. Just a few grains of carfentanil can cause death because of the drug’s extreme potency.
If you are worried that a friend or family member is misusing carfentanil, you can look out for carfentanil abuse symptoms.
Side Effects of Carfentanil Drug Abuse
The most common side effect of carfentanil use is death. If a human takes even a small amount of carfentanil, they risk dying from an overdose. If someone can take carfentanil without coma or death, some of the common symptoms of misusing this drug are similar to other synthetic opioids or morphine.
Common symptoms associated with misuse of opioids include:
- Breathing problems
- Constricted (small) pupils
- Decreased responsiveness
- Extreme sleepiness
- Nausea and vomiting
Carfentanil Drug vs Fentanyl Drug
Fentanyl and Carfentanil are two different types of synthetic opioids. They work similarly, activating the opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). While fentanyl is approved for humans, carfentanil (Wildnil) is only approved for veterinary use in large animals. Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, and only 20 mg can produce a fatal reaction. The likelihood of an overdose is extremely high with both of these drugs.
How Are They Similar?
Of course, carfentanil drug and fentanyl also share several similarities, including:
- Both are synthetic opioid analgesics
- Both produce similar side effects (although people are more likely to overdose on carfentanil before experiencing a high)
- Both can cause overdose, which is marked by symptoms like respiratory depression and sometimes death
- Both are used as cutting agents in other drugs
- Both can be injected, snorted, absorbed into the skin, smoked, or ingested in a pill
- Both are made illegally and sold illegally on the internet and the streets
- Both are extremely addictive
- Both are more potent than morphine
Carfentanil Drug Addiction
One of the most common ways carfentanil drug addiction develops is by accident. People who misuse cocaine or heroin may think the drug they are taking is 100% pure cocaine or heroin, but because the carfentanil drug looks similar to those drugs, it can be mixed in without someone noticing.
Even consuming a tiny amount of carfentanil drug can lead to overdose or death. When people take carfentanil but do not suffer severe injuries, their body could become used to the drug’s presence and grow reliant on it for feelings of euphoria and relaxation. The best way to avoid accidentally developing a carfentanil drug addiction is to avoid heroin and cocaine. Any substance that comes in a white powder-like form could include the carfentanil drug, and noticing the presence of carfentanil would not be possible.
Carfentanil Drug Overdose
In 2017, in Alberta, Canada, carfentanil drug misuse caused 125 overdose deaths, nearly 100 more than what occurred in 2016. In the United States, Arizona had its first carfentanil overdose case in August of 2017. Cincinnati, Ohio, had more than 508 overdoses related to carfentanil in 2019, compared with 30 in 2016.
Medical professionals have difficulty tracking carfentanil misuse because the drug can be masked with other substances such as heroin and cocaine. Therefore, accurately identifying the number of overdose deaths caused by the carfentanil drug is a challenge. Carfentanil drug overdose presents similarly to overdose on other opioids, but the symptoms might progress more quickly. Symptoms of overdose may include:
- Blue skin or lips
- Breathing problems or slowed breathing
- Pinpoint pupils
Carfentanil drug overdose is a medical emergency. If you have a naloxone pen available, it should be administered if overdose is suspected. Whether it’s available or not, call 911 so the person can be treated in the hospital.
Carfentanil Drug Addiction Treatment
Like other opioid addictions, a convergence of medication with behavioral therapies has been shown to be effective in treating people with a Carfentanil Drug Addiction.
Medications: Buprenorphine and methadone work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as Fentanyl, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Another medicine, Naltrexone, blocks opioid receptors and prevents Carfentanil from having an effect. People can discuss treatment options with their health provider.
Counseling: Behavioral therapies for addiction to opioids like Carfentanil can help people modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use, increase healthy life skills, and help them stick with their medication. Some examples include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps modify the patient’s drug use expectations and behaviors, and effectively manage triggers and stress
- Contingency management, which uses a voucher-based system giving patients “points” based on negative drug tests. They can use the points to earn items that encourage healthy living
- Motivational interviewing, which is a patient-centered counseling style that addresses a patient’s mixed feelings to change
These behavioral treatment approaches have proven effective, especially when used along with medicines.
Reclaim Your Life From Carfentanil Drug Addiction
Carfentanil Drug Addiction is a condition that can cause major health, social, and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from Carfentanil Drug Addiction with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.