Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid used for large animals, such as elephants. It is an analog of the more commonly used synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is used for people in significant pain. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has a DrugFacts sheet for fentanyl, but does not have a sheet on carfentanil due to the fact that it has only been recently used recreationally. Whether carfentanil is actually being sought specifically for recreational use is also questionable, as the reports of the drug in the U.S. all point to it being used as a cut for street heroin.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse Emerging Trends and Alerts page discusses the recent rise in deaths related to carfentanil. The animal sedative and analgesic has been found in numerous batches of heroin and seems to be responsible for many overdoses.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to carfentanil, fentanyl, heroin or any other opioid, we encourage you to seek treatment. There are treatment centers out there that can help you recover from your addiction and go on to lead the life you truly want.
What is Carfentanil?
Carfentanil is 10,000 times stronger than morphine, which places it with the strongest opioid-like substances in strength available commercially. The drug was never meant to be used by humans. Instead, it was designed to sedate and provide anesthesia for large animals such as elephants. It has only become a problem among recreationally drug users recently, as cheap supplies of carfentanil and other similar substances manufactured in China have been substituted for heroin.
Most of the people who wind up taking carfentanil are not aware of what they are taking. The drug has been substituted for heroin, which allows the people selling it to make a higher profit at the risk of the health of the buyer.
How is Carfentanil Used?
Carfentanil can be smoked, snorted or injected. When used on large animals it is most often injected, but street users who get carfentanil in their batch of heroin may smoke or snort the substance.
Effects of Carfentanil Addiction
Carfentanil is an opioid, which means it seeks out the opioid receptors in the brain and throughout the body and overloads them. There is not much information on human use of carfentanil, but it is likely that it affects the body much as fentanyl does – only more extremely. With fentanyl, the user feels a rush of euphoria, a lack of pain, a positive mood and a general feeling of well being. Once the drug wears off, or the user runs out, typically a crash occurs. The user feels worse than he or she did before using the drug.
Like all opioids, carfentanil affects the central nervous system and can cause respiratory failure. The danger of carfentanil to humans was demonstrated in the 2012 Moscow theater hostage crisis. Russian authorities sprayed carfentanil on a crowd to subdue the hostage takers. The knockout gas had the desired effect of subduing everyone in the theater, but 125 people died from respiratory failure.
Some of the negative effects of carfentanil include:
- Problems Associated With Intravenous Use – For those who shoot up with carfentanil, the same risks apply as to other intravenous drug users. Sharing needles greatly increases the risks of HIV and hepatitis transmission. The impurities in the street versions of the drug can block veins and damage organs.
- Depression – When the brain is bombarded with opioids it eventually stops making its own opioids. The result is that the user can only feel good when using the drug. When the drug wears off or the user cannot get anymore of the drug, severe depression can set in and can last for weeks – until the brain starts making enough opioids again.
- Overdose – Carfentanil is very, very strong. Because it is an unknown quantity in the heroin the user is taking, it is impossible for him or her to know how much is safe to take. The wave of overdose deaths across the country are attributed to the presence of carfentanil and similar drugs in street heroin. Too much carfentanil can be deadly, and “too much” is far too easy to mistakenly administer.
Carfentanil Rehab Programs
Addiction to carfentanil, as with all other opioids, can be life-destroying – but there is a way out. There are treatment programs available that can help you get clean and stay that way.
Popular Carefentanil rehab options for carfentanil addiction include:
- Medically Assisted Detoxification – If you are addicted to carfentanil, your body is going to go through some severe detox symptoms when you quit the drug. Medically assisted detox can help you quit safely and more comfortably, which means you can move on to the next stages of your rehab with confidence.
- Inpatient Treatment – Carfentanil is so powerful, and therefore so addictive, that inpatient rehab is the best choice for recovery. You can stay at a residential facility, surrounded by professionals who are there to help you stay sober and learn the necessary coping skills to leave opioids behind.
- Outpatient Treatment – Once you finish with your residential program, you can continue to get help and guidance through an outpatient program. Your continued commitment to treatment will help you avoid relapse.
Here to Help You Find a Rehabilitation Center
We are standing by to help you find the right rehab for your needs. Please get in touch with our team and we will be happy to assist you.