Fentanyl, The Silent Killer

Also known as Actiq and Duragesic, Fentanyl at the core is a synthetic opioid analgesic. Fentanyl overdoses can also mimic a deep sleep, masking the need for immediate medical attention.

Fentanyl, The Silent Killer
Fentanyl, The Silent Killer

Most of you have probably never heard of Fentanyl, which is a problem in its own right. This is a drug that works as a pain reliever, but it’s incredibly strong and addictive. It’s rapidly becoming one of the most troublesome drugs out there right now, with more and more people seeking treatment for it.

It’s been nicknamed The Silent Killer because it’s almost impossible to detect when cut into other drugs. In fact, you won’t know you’ve taken it until it’s in your system and the symptoms are showing. While it is a prescription drug that’s given to patients in severe and chronic pain, there have been rising illegal uses of it. Primarily, a lot of drug dealers are forging common antidepressants by using Fenatyl, then selling them to people with anxiety or mental health issues. As such, we have a real problem on our hands.

In this post, we’re going to cover Fenatyl in more detail, go over the dangers associated with this drug, and why it’s such a big issue in modern society.

What is Fenatyl?

Fenatyl is classified as a synthetic opioid that bears a substantial similarity to morphine. They’re both used for extreme pain relief, but morphine is nowhere near as strong as this drug. It’s figured that Fenatyl is at least 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. This makes it remarkably dangerous, particularly when you think about how addictive morphine is.

There are perfectly legal uses for this drug, and it is prescribed to numerous patients under the names Sublimaze, Actiq, or Duragesic. Most people that have this prescription are in serious pain, which usually comes about from extensive surgical procedures or terrible diseases such as cancer.

How does Fenatyl work?

As an opioid drug, Fenatyl works by making its way to the human brain and binding to your opioid receptors. For those that don’t know, these receptors are mainly responsible for control pain and what you feel. This is why opioids are commonly used for pain relief because they get right into your brain and shut off your ability to feel pain.

Interestingly, heroin is also an opioid. Anyone that’s suffered from a heroin addiction will tell you exactly what happens when you continuously take opioids. Eventually, your brain starts to change. You’ve been using a drug to basically turn off your opioid receptors, which deal with your emotions as well as your feelings of pain. As such, you get to a point where these receptors don’t work as they should, and you almost feel nothing at all. There are no emotions, no joy, and your only attempt at happiness comes from the drug.

This is what puts you on the slippery slope to opioid addiction; your body craves the drug to give you the happiness and relief you need. Because of the effect this has on your brain – and the way it directly controls your emotions – it’s easy to become addicted to Fentanyl, which can lead to some grave consequences.

Fentanyl Overdose

It is extremely possible to overdose on Fentanyl as it is a harmful opioid. In general, there is something of a crisis where opioid overdoses are concerned. There were just over 70,000 overdose deaths in 2017 and over 47,000 of those involved opioids. The chances of overdosing on Fentanyl are very high considering the potency of it. It provides you with more pain relief and happiness than other drugs, which only makes it more addictive.

Overdoses happen when your body takes in far too much of this drug, and it interacts with your bodily functions to create severe medical emergencies. With this specific drug, what usually happens is your breathing slows down or stops altogether. This has the same effect as drowning underwater or being forced to hold your breath. It cuts off the oxygen supply to your brain, which causes hypoxia, leading to brain damage, a coma, or death.

So, yes, at the very least you will end up with permanent brain damage, but you could very well die from an overdose of this opioid.

Can you treat a Fentanyl Addiction?

Yes, it is possible to treat Fentanyl addiction, and the success rates tend to be higher in individuals who spot their addiction early and act on it. If you are experiencing severe bouts of depression or mood swings that make you crave this drug, then you could well be addicted to it. While illegal use is the most common form of addiction, there are incidents where people can become addicted to their Fentanyl prescription as well.

The treatment for this is similar to heroin addiction or general opioid addiction. It tends to start with medication assisted treatment, which is where you’re given a different type of medication to counteract the effects of the Fentanyl. This is typically done in an addiction treatment center so a full detox can take place as well. A detox is where you’re completely cut off from the drug, and your body is forced to flush it from your system and revert back to how it should be. In this case, your brain and opioid receptors are forced to go back to how they used to work.

The inclusion of medication is primarily to ward off common withdrawal symptoms. In most recovering addicts, relapses occur when they’re unable to handle the withdrawal symptoms. Here, your medication lets you cope with them, so you can slowly wean yourself off Fentanyl.

Following this, you’ll most likely undergo cognitive behavioral therapy along with counseling sessions to help keep you on the path to recovery.


Fentanyl is a dangerous drug that’s prescribed to many people in hospitals throughout the country. As such, it’s found its way into the illegal drug market – either in its raw form or cut into antidepressants. It’s incredibly potent, which makes it highly addictive, leading to the genuine chance of an overdose. If you’re interested in medication assisted treatment for Fentanyl addiction, then please get in touch with us today. We can help set you up with a treatment plan to kick the habit for good, so you can get your life back on track.

I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.