When people hear about the destruction caused by the opioid epidemic, they often think of heroin. While heroin is a big problem in the United States and worldwide, it’s not the only opioid responsible for destruction and loss of life. Synthetic opioids are also largely to blame, and they can be incredibly potent. Explore the issue of carfentanil vs. fentanyl to learn more about the differences, the similarities.
What Is Carfentanil?
Carfentanil is an opioid painkiller, but it was never intended for human consumption. Carfentanil is a staggering 10,000 times stronger than morphine. It’s almost impossible to understand how devastating the consumption of carfentanil can be.
Carfentanil is so potent that just two milligrams, or the weight of about 34 grains of salt, is enough to sedate an entire elephant. Just touching carfentanil with your bare hands can lead to awful side effects.
This drug is primarily used as a large animal tranquilizer, but it has also been weaponized. It has been sold as a heroin substitute on the street and has been linked to a number of overdose deaths.
In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a nationwide alert about carfentanil after the substance was linked to a spate of overdoses and deaths in several states.
Because of the potency of carfentanil, there is no safe way to consume this drug. If you overdose on carfentanil, you’ll need several doses of naloxone, which may not even work. The use of carfentanil can lead to drowsiness, trouble breathing, or unconsciousness.
What Is Fentanyl?
Like carfentanil, fentanyl is a synthetic opiate. Typically, fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. That makes it significantly stronger and more dangerous than a drug like heroin. Fentanyl does have legitimate medical uses. Often, doctors prescribe it as a patch because ingestion would be too much for the body. However, illegitimate use is often a problem in other street drugs. Dealers might mix it with heroin or cocaine to cut costs and create more dramatic effects for users. Fentanyl is responsible for many overdoses in the United States, some of which are fatal. Since fentanyl is so potent, addiction can develop quickly or even after a single use.
If you suspect that someone you know is addicted to fentanyl, look for the following signs:
- Using more of the drug than intended or for a longer period of time than planned
- Unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut back on use
- Spending a lot of money on fentanyl even though you can’t afford it
- Doing things you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing, to get the drug
- Focusing more and more time on getting fentanyl, using it and recovering from its effects
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, work or school
- Continuing to use despite relationship problems
- Giving up activities you once enjoyed because of fentanyl use
Carfentanil Vs Fentanyl: Which is Worse?
In the question of carfentanil vs. fentanyl, there are no real winners. Both drugs are dangerous, but carfentanil is worse on many levels. To start, there is no legitimate reason to use carfentanil. Any use, large or small, is illegal and can be a threat to your life.
Carfentanil is roughly 100 times stronger than fentanyl. While a few specs of fentanyl can lead to a fatal overdose, it takes even less to die of a carfentanil overdose. Sadly, people cut street drugs with both substances and make them even more harmful to users.
Finding Addiction Treatment
Finding an addiction treatment center doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many options, each with its positives and negatives that you must thoroughly consider. Therefore, before choosing a treatment center, you need to do some research on each one to find one that meets your needs. Locating a facility that can provide dual diagnosis care can be helpful for people looking to prevent an addiction and mental health condition from fueling each other into relapse.
Overcoming Addiction at Crestview Recovery
If you’re addicted to opiates, then you risk injecting fentanyl or carfentanil by accident. If you struggle with fentanyl abuse or you just want to avoid an overdose, it’s time to get professional support. At Crestview Recovery, you can fight back against drug abuse and addiction once and for all. Successful treatment methods include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dual diagnosis support
- Life skills training
- Group therapy
- Trauma therapy
Carfentanil vs. fentanyl: Is one truly worse than another? Carfentanil is more potent, but both have the potential to ruin lives. Call 866.262.0531 to learn more about Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, and your best route to recovery.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.