Dr. Davis: Fentanyl is a derivative of morphine. It's in the opioid class.
The difference between Fentanyl and other medications, is that it's a synthetic drug. It's made in the lab. Whereas, Percocet and Oxycodone (Oxycontin) come from the poppy seed. They're grown in the fields. Fentanyl is made in the lab and is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. One Fentanyl does not equal one morphine.
Today, there are 600,000 deaths a year related to overdosing. On the streets, drug suppliers cut Heroin with Fentanyl because Fentanyl is cheaper to make and it stretches the Heroin. But when people take the Heroin mix, they don't realize that they're taking a stronger dose because no one is monitoring it and they can potentially overdose.
Years ago, Opioid medications were only meant for surgery and end-of-life situations. It was never meant for ankle sprains, bruises, headaches, etc. There was a push in the late 90s, early 2000s, to prescribe these medicines. It was encouraged to give stronger medications. The thought process was that they were not addictive, but they are addictive. They bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, which releases dopamine. Dopamine is a good feel hormone that makes you feel like you're floating and life is great.
There was a push lately to stop prescribing these opioids but now people are hooked. So, now, instead of getting the drugs from their doctors, people are getting them from the streets. As a patient, if your doctor prescribed the drugs to you without telling you that you could get addicted and you take them, it's too late, because now you're addicted. This could happen to anyone. Everyday people. Professionals. Teachers. The nanny. Anyone.
It's so strong and brings such great pleasure that if you do it one time, you're hooked.
We accept "pills" as being socially acceptable versus Heroin. They're legal. They're prescribed. A doctor gave them to me. There is a different mindset towards them. However, Heroin and Percocet are from the same family. It's easier to get hooked on Percocet because it's something that is more socially acceptable.
The first 48 to 72 hours are the worst. You feel like crap. Like you've been hit by a truck. Nauseous. Vomiting. Sweating. Body aches. Fatigue. Uneasiness and restlessness.
Usually, in a week, 10 days max, you'll go through the process of withdrawal and won't necessarily have those feelings. You'll need to have the awareness to not use them again.
Her doctor put her on Suboxone (sp?). It's such a powerful drug that she only took half of the dosage that her doctor prescribed until she was able to get to the point where she no longer needed it. Methodone seemed to perpetuate the addiction of some of her friends. It made them very lethargic. She stated that there are no cravings with Suboxone and you won't get high. She believes that it's a wonderful drug that can be used for your addiction.
Every drug has side effects and should not be used for long periods of time.
You should have an end date in your mind. (for example, "In 30 days, I am off of this!")