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How Fentanyl is Abused Today

At Buckeye Recovery, our mission is to provide comprehensive information about the pervasive problem of fentanyl abuse in today’s society. As an Outpatient Addiction Treatment Center located in Huntington Beach, CA, we recognize the urgency of raising awareness about this pressing issue. In this detailed article, we aim to delve deeper into the multifaceted aspects of fentanyl abuse, shedding light on its various forms, consequences, and the critical need for intervention.

Understanding Fentanyl

To comprehend the extent of fentanyl abuse, it’s essential to grasp the nuances of this potent synthetic opioid:

  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was initially developed for medical purposes, primarily for managing severe pain in cancer patients and post-surgery situations. Its potency is staggering, ranging from 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and this high potency is what makes it both useful and dangerous.
  • Medical fentanyl is typically administered in various forms, including transdermal patches, lozenges (often called “lollipops”), and injectable solutions. These medical applications aim to provide controlled pain relief under strict supervision.
  • The concerning issue arises with the emergence of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which has inundated the illegal drug market. This illicit fentanyl is often produced in clandestine labs and used as an additive or substitute for other opioids, such as heroin or counterfeit prescription pills.

Ways Fentanyl Is Abused Today

Fentanyl abuse manifests in a multitude of forms, each carrying its own set of risks and challenges:

  • Injection: One of the most dangerous methods of fentanyl abuse involves intravenous injection. Individuals seeking an immediate and intense high mix liquid fentanyl or fentanyl powder with water and inject it directly into their veins. This method is exceptionally perilous, as it can lead to rapid overdose due to the drug’s potency.
  • Oral Consumption: Some individuals misuse fentanyl by swallowing pills or lozenges meant for legitimate medical use but obtained through illegal means. This method poses significant dangers, as it can lead to the development of tolerance and addiction over time.
  • Inhalation: Illicit fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, and inhaled as a powder or vapor. This practice compounds the risks associated with fentanyl abuse, as it increases the likelihood of accidental overdose and unpredictable reactions.
  • Transdermal Abuse: Fentanyl patches, designed for slow-release pain relief over a specific period, are misused when people chew, cut, or apply multiple patches to their skin simultaneously. This misuse accelerates the drug’s release, resulting in a rapid and intense high, which can lead to overdose.
  • Counterfeit Medications: The production and distribution of counterfeit prescription pills that mimic legitimate pharmaceuticals have surged in recent years. Many of these counterfeit drugs contain fentanyl, putting unsuspecting users at grave risk when they believe they are consuming a different, less potent medication.

The Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse

The consequences of fentanyl abuse are grave, affecting individuals, families, and communities:

  • High Risk of Overdose: Fentanyl’s potency means that even the smallest miscalculation in dosage can lead to a fatal overdose. It is increasingly responsible for a significant portion of overdose deaths in the United States.
  • Physical and Psychological Dependence: Fentanyl’s addictive potential is significant, and individuals who engage in regular abuse often develop a physical and psychological dependence on the drug. This leads to cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and an overwhelming compulsion to continue using.
  • Health Complications: Long-term fentanyl abuse can result in a range of severe health problems, including respiratory issues, cardiovascular complications, and mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
  • Legal Consequences: Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of fentanyl is illegal in most jurisdictions. Those involved in fentanyl-related activities may face criminal charges and legal repercussions.

How to Seek Help

Recognizing the gravity of fentanyl abuse is the first crucial step toward addressing this issue effectively. If you or someone you know is grappling with fentanyl abuse, seeking professional help is paramount. Buckeye Recovery is dedicated to providing comprehensive addiction treatment services tailored to your specific needs.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Today is the day to reclaim control of your life. Reach out to Buckeye Recovery, a trusted partner in your journey toward recovery from fentanyl addiction. Our experienced and compassionate team is here to support you at every stage of your recovery.


Early signs may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, constricted (pinpoint) pupils, and shallow breathing. It’s essential to recognize these signs promptly.

Encouraging your loved one to seek professional help is crucial. Offering emotional support throughout their recovery journey can make a significant difference.

While fentanyl is an opioid like heroin, its potency sets it apart, making it even more perilous when misused.

Call 911 immediately, administer naloxone if available, and perform rescue breathing if necessary until emergency help arrives. Swift action can save a life.

Yes, with appropriate treatment, support, and personal commitment, individuals can overcome fentanyl addiction and embark on a healthier, substance-free life. It’s a challenging journey but an achievable one with the right resources and guidance.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.