The drug known as china white heroin is a synthetic version of furanylfentanyl. Fentanyl, as a legitimate medication, is sometimes prescribed for the treatment of severe pain among those who do not respond to less powerful painkillers. It is, in fact, up to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin itself.
Illicit fentanyl, however, is largely a product of the illegal drug trade. The Drug Enforcement Administration believes that it is primarily manufactured in China, then trafficked into the U.S. through Mexican cartels or the Internet. Over the past several years, china white heroin has become a substitute for traditional heroin, as it is inexpensive to make and a little bit goes a long way.
The New Illegal Synthetic Drugs
The U.S. is currently waging a losing battle against alcohol and drug addiction. A significant factor in the drug war is the invasion of new “designer” synthetic drugs, which are continually flooding the market and causing a massive spike in overdose fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 63,000 Americans in 2016 were killed by drug overdoses, and two-thirds of those deaths (66%) involved an illicit or prescription opioid.
Why Synthetic Drugs? What are They?
The manufacture and distribution of scheduled drugs can have significant legal implications. Drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and meth are illegal, and law enforcement has been cracking down on drug trafficking to try to get them off the street. This trend has been compelling drug traffickers and manufacturers to design drugs that are easier and less expensive to produce and sell, with fewer legal implications. Their solution to the problem has been to create new drugs with formulations that the law has not caught up with yet.
Synthetic drugs are designed to imitate the ‘highs” or desired effects of narcotics, prescription drugs and even some everyday domestic products. They can be found in various forms including pills, powders, liquids, and herbs. With the dramatic uptick in opiate addiction across the U.S., there has been an equally dramatic increase in the demand for substitutes for controlled substances and known illegal drugs.
Opioids and synthetic drugs such as china white heroin are addictive because they transmit euphoric messages to the brain’s reward center, increasing the chance of cravings and often resulting in an uncontrollable and entirely unwanted drug addiction. When people try and repeatedly use illicit drugs, they are not typically soliciting dependence upon them. They are merely seeking to feel the desired high or euphoria.
Unfortunately, the cravings become so strong that they make the user feel as if the drug(s) is a biological necessity – that it is required for survival, not unlike water and food. After a time, the body starts to depend on drugs to activate dopamine release, or the user begins to experience withdrawal symptoms and feelings quite the opposite of pleasure – dysphoria. These effects create a vicious cycle that is extremely hard to break without professional help.
China White Heroin – A Deadly Killer
China white heroin has been responsible for much of the increase in drug overdose deaths in recent years, and multiple variations are being made and sold on the black market. Illegal drug manufacturers frequently tinker with the ingredients, and users often have no idea exactly what they are putting into their system. Since the chemicals in any synthetic drug formulation constantly change and widely vary in toxicity, there is no way to know what its exact effect on a person will be.
In fact, fentanyl is so potent that contact with the drug in any form – even through the skin – can be dangerous. Fortunately, an anti-overdose medication called Narcan (naloxone) has been developed for law enforcement and medical practitioners to use and is very effective at reversing overdoses. However, fentanyl is so powerful that sometimes multiple administrations are required, and then, of course, naloxone has to be delivered in a timely fashion to be effective.
Treatment for China White Heroin Addiction
An addiction to china white heroin is often more severe than heroin addiction because the drug is much more potent. Withdrawal symptoms are therefore more intense, making it extremely difficult for the person suffering to discontinue drug use “cold turkey.”
For this reason, those seeking treatment for this addiction should undergo a medically-managed detox with around-the-clock physical and mental support to improve safety, comfort, and prevent relapse. Following detox, patients are highly encouraged to enroll in a residential (inpatient) rehab program or intensive outpatient treatment.
Our programs are customized to the individual and include essential, evidence-based approaches to addiction treatment such as psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, education, and group support. These services are delivered by caring addiction specialists who provide patients with the tools they need to sustain long-term sobriety and kick heroin addiction once and for all.
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