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Pharmacy News: Fentanyl Patch Abuse Rising

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It is well-known that opiates are heavily abused on a regular basis and that many people are addicted to them, but fentanyl patch abuse is rising significantly as well.  Particularly showing up more frequently in British Columbia, fentanyl patches are extremely dangerous, as they have been the cause for 13 deaths already this year in the area.  Although the death rates due to overdose have decreased from over a hundred people in Canada in 2011, it is clear that this is still a major issue in other areas.

What Is A Fentanyl Patch Abuse?

A fentanyl patch is a medication used as treatment for rigorous physical pain.  The drug was originally designed as a patch in order to release its medication over the course of three days when taken as prescribed to those who honestly need it as told by their doctor.  People abuse this drug by taking excessive amounts of it in a short period of time and also by administering it improperly through ingestion, inhalation, and injection.  This creates adverse effects, as the drug is stated to be more lethal than morphine.  Dealing with a fentanyl patch is particularly precarious because a simple, accidental touch allows the drug to be transmitted right through the skin.  The fentanyl patch is reported to be so addictive by former users that people have dug through dumpsters in search for used patches.  In response to this, pharmacies have vocalized to all people who actually have the prescription for the patches to return them, even used, for proper disposal to prevent others from finding and using them.

Because of the high frequency of fentanyl patch use being reported, it is suspected that the drug users may not be aware that it is a fentanyl patch they have bought or used due to the desired effects replicating other opiates.  With this worry and attempt to prevent more deaths, a team of coroners in the British Columbia area commented that it is best not to use illegal drugs, but if they are using, they should follow certain safety precautions and especially not use alone.

Fentanyl Patch Abuse Treatment

Unfortunately it is not just the fentanyl patch abuse that should cause worry because it has been confirmed previously in 2013 that fentanyl had been extracted out of the patch and already shown up on the street in an attempt to be passed off as another substance.  This just goes to show that anything bought illegally cannot be trusted because we really do not know what the substance truly is or what negative effects it may have to our body.

If you suspect someone is engaging in fentanyl patch abuse or addicted to another fatal substance, you may want to support them in seeking treatment in order to achieve and maintain a safer, drug-free lifestyle. Contact The Watershed today for more information on fentanyl patch abuse treatment.




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