In simplest terms, carfentanil is a derivative of fentanyl. However, while fentanyl is a painkiller for human use, its derivative isn’t. In veterinary medicine, the drug is a big game tranquilizer. Therefore, what does an elephant tranquilizer have to do with the opioid crisis?
How Carfentanil Entered the Opioid Trade
The DEA explains that carfentanil has no human use application. When you consider that it’s 100 times stronger than fentanyl, which surpasses heroin’s potency 50 times, you understand why. Elephant Care International assigns a 13 mg dose for a full-grown, adult African elephant in the wild. So, how did this substance enter the drug trade?
For starters, it was cheap. Dealers use it to cut heroin, which is more expensive. The user doesn’t know the difference since the substance will result in a powerful high. However, there’s a cost to pay for this fix.
On the street, users call the heroin and elephant tranquilizer mix the gray death. It looks dirty next to pure heroin. Because the risk of accidental overdose is high, the term death appears appropriate. Unfortunately, drug buyers won’t learn of the additive until it’s too late.
Outcomes Are Frequently Deadly
Remember that veterinarians and wildlife conservation workers use carfentanil to stop an elephant in its tracks. When you ingest even a minuscule amount, it does the same thing. While the elephant has a fair chance at surviving the exposure, you don’t. Because the drug works so fast, you won’t have time to call for help.
If first responders do arrive in time to help you, it’ll likely take multiple doses of naloxone. The DEA recommends a treatment every two minutes until you’re stable. Specifically, exposure and accidental overdose can be fatal.
Avoiding a Carfentanil Overdose
If you’re using heroin or opioid painkillers, you’re at high risk of suffering an overdose from the substance. Maybe you’ve been using for a long time. However, there’s no way for you to build up a tolerance high enough to handle carfentanil. There are addiction treatment programs that can help you overcome the chemical dependency.
You’re probably afraid of the opioid detox. After all, the withdrawal symptoms are notoriously difficult to deal with. However, at a facility that provides pharmacological withdrawal support, you’ll find the answer. There, you get off the drug and have a pain-free experience.
Around the clock medical care ensures your physiological safety. In this environment, it’s possible to break the physical dependency. Next, you work on overcoming the psychological addiction. Therapists personalize a treatment protocol that includes:
- Treatment for a dual diagnosis
- Therapy options for young adults
- Nutritional support
- Pain management
There’s no shortcut to overcoming an addiction to heroin, opiates, or related drugs. However, it’s vital that you stop using now before you accidentally consume a product with the dangerous additive. The caring therapists at Ashley Addiction Treatment want to help you along every step of the way. Call 866-313-6307 today to find out what it’ll take to get started on your recovery.