Prince was an American singer who will be remembered as one of the great musical icons of the 1980s. Although he was always in the shadow of Michael Jackson , he was the great renewer of black music with his unique stamp that shaped a rather psychedelic funk-pop. Some of his best known songs are: Purple Rain (1984) and Sign O’The Times (1987) Prince continued to be an innovative artist until last April, when a powerful opiate called Fentanyl extinguished his voice forever .
Until rather recently, most people did not know that it was fentanyl, which in recent months has become one of the favorite drugs of the Mexican cartels. This is because it is a very potent substance and very popular in the United States. In fact, it’s a very profitable drug, according to U.S. authorities.
There are many types of drugs. Learn more about the different psychoactive substances in our article: “Types of drugs: know their characteristics and effects”
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is one of the most potent opiates on the market .
It is used as an anaesthetic in the operating theatre, for breakthrough cancer pain and for recovery from surgery. It is a powerful synthetic opioid agonist, belonging to the group of narcotics, derived from phenylpiperidine, and is very soluble in lipids.
Structurally it is similar to meperidine, alfentanil, and sufentanil. Fentanyl was first synthesized in 1960 by a Belgian pharmacist , but in recent months it has burst onto the streets of American and Canadian towns and cities, becoming an epidemic that is leaving a trail of deaths.
Forms of administration, effects and hazards
Fentanyl comes in several forms: injection, skin patch, oral film, or lollipop device, instant dissolving tablets with intrabuccal absorption, and fentanyl inhalers. Injection is usually common in hospitals. And for the individual who uses it outside the hospital environment it is extremely dangerous , as the difference between the therapeutic dose and the lethal dose is very small.
As with other opiates, the most common symptoms of opiate abuse are: euphoria, analgesia, drowsiness or lethargy. Fentanyl causes tolerance to high doses, so an appropriate dose may vary from week to week.
There are many unwanted symptoms that can occur with the use of this opiate:
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Dry mouth
- Urine retention
- Breathing Suppression
- Severe constipation
- Itching or hives
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Difficulty seeing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Swelling in the extremities
Fentanyl Addiction: The New Epidemic in the United States
Fentanyl may have become popular around the globe because of Prince’s death, but the truth is that for some time now, drug traffickers have realized the potential business of this drug in the illegal market. A thorough medical examination of the pop star confirmed his death from an overdose of the substance, ending weeks of speculation.
Since then, in the United States, several organizations have sent out a warning signal for increased consumption of fentanyl in this country (also in neighboring Canada). Because the most powerful painkiller used by doctors is being sold on the streets, causing several deaths. As the Centers for Disease Control explains to CNN , “we are facing a new public health crisis”.
In addition, as confirmed by U.S. authorities located on the border with Mexico: “Mexican cartels do not only receive shipments of fentanyl from China. It has been detected that they themselves are producing this drug in their clandestine laboratories , as the demand for opiates by US citizens is growing”.
A highly dangerous and deadly drug
Drug experts are concerned because deaths in the United States continue to occur almost daily . A few weeks ago, the British newspaper Metro reported on the dangers of this drug and confirmed the death of 10 people in just twelve days in the state of Sacramento.
One of the victims was Jerome Bruner, who died after consuming fentanyl, thinking it was a harmless painkiller. His mother, Natasha, told the newspaper, “His organs were affected, his liver was affected, his kidneys were affected. Her brain was swollen. The doctor said there was nothing he could do to save her life.
The Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States states: “Illegally manufactured fentanyl is 20 to 100 times more potent than heroin. The drug used to treat cancer pain is very strong and can easily overdose even regular hard drug users.
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