What is Fentanyl: a legal addictive drug that can cause death Author: Alan Rada


Doctors and toxicologists are alerting the population about the effects produced by this type of analgesic like Fentanyl. It should be noted that it belongs to the opioids family, generating a greater dependence since it is more powerful than morphine, experts say.

These drugs fulfill a medical function with specific purposes for which they were created. The misuse of these medications can become harmful to health, generating dependence and addiction, leading to death if not controlled in time.

So, it is with fentanyl, this opioid used regularly in medicine for anesthetic and analgesic actions, it is not an over-the-counter medicine since it is practically used in clinics, hospitals, and sanatoriums to treat certain conditions.

Dependence and Addiction

The misuse of this drug can cause acute poisoning and put at risk the life of the person who consumes it.

According to official data, in the United States alone it caused more than 70,000 deaths in 2018. An alarming figure that grows every month.

Medical professionals state that this drug has a great capacity to generate dependence when it is misused because when it is prescribed by a doctor, according to the patient’s situation, it is an “excellent analgesic” widely used in the field of medicine.

Many people who use it erroneously – also injected – can cause:

  • Depression and sensory deterioration, and even lead to coma.
  • Respiratory depression, which can induce a cardiorespiratory arrest and certainly cause death or endanger the life of the dependent.

One of the most punctual characteristics of this type of opioids is that they generate a great physical dependence, which is why people, unable to stop consuming, are in a desperate search for this substance to satisfy the demands of the organism, as well as it occurs, for example, with heroin.

Being a powerful painkiller, it is also used in sports. Athletes such as MMA fighters, baseball players or the elite football players in NFL wagering, face strong shock pains or excessive performance, leading to use and abuse of these drugs. Something to have in mind.

Effects of Fentanyl on the Brain

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl acts as follows:

  1. Fentanyl binds opioid receptors in certain areas of the brain that control emotions and pain.
  2. Regular consumption of this drug, like other opioids, causes the brain to adapt to consumption, decreasing the sensitivity in patients.
  3. When a person cannot find more relief with other medications, they enter the addiction stage.

Effects of Fentanyl

  • First, you can feel happiness or a sense of extreme wellbeing.
  • Later you may feel nauseous.
  • It produces constipation.
  • You feel trouble breathing normally.
  • You enter a state of confusion.
  • You enter a stage of sedation and lethargy.
  • Induces to loss of consciousness.


While there are other medications to treat fentanyl dependence, such as methadone, buprenorphine that reduce the urge to consume fentanyl, or naltrexone, by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, it avoids the effects of fentanyl.

Other ways to treat and counteract the effects of fentanyl may include cognitive behavioral therapies, contingency control, and even motivational interviews.

These treatments, especially those combined with medications, proved to be very effective.

Final considerations

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published reports on the excessive use of opioids. The UN and the DEA are also taking action to raise awareness among the governments about the irresponsible use of this type of drugs with great growth in the population, becoming a global crisis.

It should be noted that there are also social and economic contexts that help people to immerse themselves in this world of addiction. We must have collective awareness about the use and abuse of these medications that cause so much havoc nowadays.

Take care and love yourself!