doctor looks at young man with concern and pats his wrist as she takes notes on his battle with heroin addiction Washington

How Potent is Carfentanil?

While fighting the national epidemic of heroin addiction Washington State has seen a significant increase in overdose-related deaths and emergencies. Much of this is attributed not to heroin itself but to an even deadlier substance—carfentanil.

Fentanyl is a synthetic form of morphine, an opioid so potent than a person can overdose on an amount only fractions the size of a penny. Heroin addicts abuse fentanyl to achieve the desired high, sometimes because it is the only drug available and other times because their dealer has mixed with their heroin with fentanyl without the user’s knowledge. The odds of overdosing on fentanyl are much greater than the chances of dying from heroin abuse, and it has been since the rise of fentanyl that heroin overdose rates have become particularly problematic.

As if heroin and fentanyl weren’t bad enough on their own, there is now an even deadlier substance on the streets—carfentanil. Carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer, and like other opioids or opioid analogues is often smuggled over from China. It’s so deadly, only a few granules are needed to cause an overdose. The scariest part is that many heroin addicts are unaware their substance is cut with fentanyl or carfentanil. They take their dose, not knowing it’s laced with one of the most potent substances to ever hit the streets.

More Potent Than Fentanyl

Washington has seen such a rapid spike in heroin-related overdoses, it has caught national attention. Part of the reason for this is the extreme potency heroin found in Washington, due to the sheer amount of heroin now being cut with fentanyl and carfentanil. In 2017, there were 10,000 deaths related to carfentanil-laced heroin overdoses. The numbers continue to rise. Based on recent statistics related to heroin addiction Washington State may soon risk losing more citizens to heroin and carfentanil than any other state in the northwest.

Carfentanil is 20 times more potent than America’s previous new killer, fentanyl, and fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine. Even worse, it appears to be showing up in more batches of heroin every day. With drug addicts needing heroin just to maintain a sense of normalcy, those on the verge of withdrawal are not always as scrupulous as usual when deciding where to acquire their next fix. As a result, many wind up accidentally ingesting this deadly substance.

A Cornerstone of the Opioid Crisis

In order to see a decrease in the opioid overdose epidemic, the root of the problem must be treated. Heroin addiction is deadly, and learning about the disease of addiction is a great place to start. The death rate of fentanyl overdose has gone up by 20,000 in just under three years, which means there has never been a more appropriate time to discuss treatment options if suffering from substance use disorder.

Since carfentanil is typically ingested by accident, and almost never used as an isolated drug, the real problem lies with using heroin. The causes of abusing heroin in the first place are many, and with proper treatment in a nationally accredited facility, these underlying causes can be overcome. Even after leaving drug or alcohol treatment, continued use of relapse prevention tools taught by the treatment staff will help ensure long-lasting and meaningful sobriety.

Heroin Addiction Washington Treatment

The disease of addiction when dealing with heroin and its significantly more potent cousin, carfentanil, is so powerful and increasingly deadly that professional help will most likely be necessary to safely detox and recover from all substances. The scientific and medical communities have made great advances in the studies of addiction. Treating the brain and specific neurological processes through treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy will greatly impact the recovery process in a positive way.

Finding the right treatment program is crucial. Our licensed staff and master-level clinicians know the deadliness of this disease, and are eager to help in any way they can. When trying to beat heroin addiction Washington facilities such as Aspire Washington can provide you with everything you need. For more information on how we can help you overcome heroin addiction before you risk suffering an unexpected run-in with carfentanil, contact us today.