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Fentanyl Detox & Treatment by State

Fentanyl Detox & Treatment by State

Is Fentanyl Given as a Prescription?

Fentanyl is an opioid used as a pain medication and as anesthesia with other medications.  Wikipedia explains that fentanyl was first made by Paul Janssen in 1960.  In 1968 it was approved for medical use in the United States.  By 2015 3500 pounds were used in healthcare around the globe, and in 2017 it was the most widely used synthetic opioid for medicine.  Fentanyl is used to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients.  This is sudden episodes of pain despite around the clock treatment with medication.  The patients taking fentanyl are tolerant of all other opioid pain relievers and require a stronger opioid.  

Fentanyl is a narcotic analgesic and changes the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.  It is administered in various forms as a pain reliever.  This can be as a lozenge, a tablet that dissolves in the mouth, a transdermal patch, or a spray.  The doctor will start a patient on a low dose and will gradually increase it until the pain stops.  Fentanyl is not typically given to patients more than four times a day.  Other pain medications are used to relieve the pain but fentanyl is used as a last resort.  

In 2017 the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported 18 million Americans misused prescription drugs at least once that year.  The same NIDA survey reported that 2 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers for the first time that year.  Every day more than 130 people die after using opioids, in the United States.  According to NIDA, roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain will misuse them.  Despite fentanyl being administered in hospitals under supervision, it is widely abused.  Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is much of the problem, but prescription fentanyl abuse continues within the United States.