If you follow the news, you may have heard of the opioid crisis. Many have linked this mass influx of addiction to prescription pain killers that are derived from opioids. Recently, a new danger has made its way to the streets called fentanyl. This drug has caused even more panic, and according to the news reports seems to be even more lethal than the opioids that many are overdosing on.
Apparently, the initial intention of fentanyl was to be a safer substitute for morphine in operating rooms. Since fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, it is not supposed to have the same addictive properties. There seem to be conflicting reports; however, when it comes to the issue of morphine vs fentanyl. According to the CDC, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, sounds dangerous. However, a medical study concluded that the effectiveness of the two drugs in the operating room is virtually the same.
When it comes to potency, there is a difference between the two drugs, but it does not seem to be as big a gap as suggested by the CDC. Most medical sites state that the fentanyl to morphine ratio is actually 1 to 2.4 in terms of dosage. It does seem like fentanyl is substantially more potent than morphine. The previously mentioned study obviously accounted for the doctors knowing this fact and adjusting the dosage accordingly.
When it comes to the relationship between morphine and fentanyl the major difference appears to be potency and addictive properties. Being a synthetic opioid, fentanyl is designed to be less addictive. You may want to request the use of fentanyl if you are undergoing an operation and are worried about your susceptibility to becoming addicted to opioids. Especially since studies show that they have the same effectiveness in the area of pain relief.
So why then is there such a panic about the introduction of fentanyl to the streets? Most likely because drug dealers tend not to be doctors or have any expertise in dosage and potency of the substances they distribute. If you are under the impression that fentanyl is a good substitute for morphine or another less potent opioid and use the same dosage, it is easy to see how an overdose could result. Basically, the substance itself is less of a problem than its illicit use.
Fentanyl has been used as a substitute for morphine in operating rooms and medical pain relief since the early 1960s. Although fentanyl is much more potent, this does not mean that it is more dangerous when administered by medical professionals. Understanding these things will help you make better decisions about your health care, as to not get hooked on pain killers. It is also important to understand the underlying facts behind the hysteria, such as the opioid and now fentanyl crisis. These facts could prevent you or others from potential harm, such as addiction.