Drug Analysis of Fentanyl


DrugAnalysis of Fentanyl


Asthe reasons for people to abuse drugs increase, the potential of theuse of narcotics is escalating and more substances of abuse are beingdiscovered. The use of narcotics is high due to the availability ofsubstances of abuse and prescription drugs that can be bought overthe counter and later abused. To explore the use of drugs, this paperwill analyze Fentanyl with a view of exploring its composition, itsuse, manufacturing and the effects on the body. Fentanyl is a drugfor treating severe pains and also for producing anesthesia duringsurgery. While Fentanyl is a prescription drug with the namesSublimaze, Duragesic and Actiq, it also has a street use of drugabuse with names like China girl, Goodfella, murder 8 and Apache.

Compositionand Use

Thecomposition of Fentanyl is mainlyN-Phenyl-N-(1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidinyl) propanamide. With aformula of C22H28N2instructure, Fentanyl has a base molecular weight of 336.5. Like otherpain relievers, Fentanyl is an opiate for the relief of pain byblocking pain receptors, but with more potent effects (Foster &ampPrevost, 2012). Despite its medical use, the drug induces a euphoricsense in the course of its effectiveness in the body. This makes thedrug an addictive substance. The potential of stimulation andaddiction makes the use of the drug away from medical application, anillicit use that is highly prohibited due to the effects on the humanbody.

Themanufacturing of Fentanyl is done in a series of steps as done by theoriginal synthesis. The first step is the preparation of theN-benzyl-4-piperidoneschiffbase by condensing aniline. The schiffbase is then acylatedwith propionic anhydride. After acylation, the resulting substance,of 1-benzyl group is deprotected through hydrogenation. Finally, theresulting SN2is alkynized with PhCH2CH2Cl(KI). The formation makes the drug that is potent, and a syntheticopioid analgesic that has a rapid onset.

Theusage of Fentanyl is primarily and strictly used by doctors foranalgesia and anesthesia in operating rooms and intensive care units.Fentanyl produces anesthesia when used with hypnotic agent such asthe propofol and in combination with midazolam or any otherbenzodiazepine. This use produces a sedation that is procedural forendoscopy, oral surgery and other operations. In addition, Fentanylis used to reduce pain reduction and management of pain. To managepain, Fentanyl is used in the form of Fentanyl transdermal patch. Thepatch releases the Fentanyl into the body muscles and bloodstream,thereby relieving pain.

WhenFentanyl is taken through a prescription, Fentanyl is given by aphysician through an injection, lozenge or through a transdermalpatch. However, the discussion of Fentanyl effects in this caserelates to overdose or abuse of the drug. The production of Fentanylfor abuse is done in laboratories where it is mixed or substitutedfor heroin and taken in powder form. By mixing the Fentanyl withheroin or cocaine, the effects of the drug are amplified to morepotent levels. This level of abuse of Fentanyl leads to dangerouseffects and mostly strong addiction that is difficult torehabilitate.

TheEffects on Human Body

Thephysical effect of the use of Fentanyl is reduction of pain. Fentanylrelieves pain by binding the opiate receptors in the body that areconcentrated more in the brain part that regulates emotions and pain.Like any other opiate drug, when Fentanyl binds the receptors, theycan be driven to dopamine levels that lead to relaxation and a senseof euphoria. This makes Fentanyl have a two-tier effect, thereduction of pain and the introduction of relaxation and theeuphoria. According to NationalInstitutes of Health(2014), the user of Fentanyl develops tolerance over time, andtherefore requires more dosage leading to gradual addiction andadverse effects. The user requires a prescribed dosage to relievepain and to achieve a significant level of comfort.

Anotherphysical effect of the use of Fentanyl is the adverse effects thataccompany the biological consequences. These effects lead toaddiction since the user requires another dosage of Fentanyl toreduce them. One of the main adverse effects of the use of Fentanylis feeling and appearing drowsy especially when the addict has nottaken the drug (NationalInstitutes of Health, 2014).In addition, the addict feels obsessed with the consumption of thedrug and cannot focus on a basic activity unless after taking a dose(Foster &amp Prevost, 2012). Another effect increases the levels ofanxiety and behavior of paranoia with some experiences of irregularmood swings. Physiologically, the adverse effect is nausea andregular vomiting.

Anothereffect is the addiction which is accompanied by psychological effectsof the use of Fentanyl. As the addict uses Fentanyl, he or shedevelops a dependency behavior to the drug. Without the use of thedrug, the adverse effects keep on recurring, forcing the user to takeit again and again. According to NationalInstitutes of Health(2014), as the user continues to use the drug, their life becomescentered on the use of Fentanyl in order to continue with their dailyactivities. Therefore, their professional, personal and career lifetakes the lower priority as the addiction controls the addict.

Theeffect of Fentanyl addiction is too strong that any attempt toabruptly avoid it use attracts the emergence of withdrawal symptoms.The withdrawal symptoms of the use of Fentanyl include itching allover the body, swelling in various parts of the body and a feeling ofweakness is also experienced in addition to a consistent condition ofdizziness (Foster &amp Prevost, 2012). Moreover, the addict mayexperience some vomiting and regular stomach upsets. However, theseeffects and the symptoms end after the user takes an additional doseof the drug.

DifferentialAssociation Theory

Oneof the significant theories that can be associated with the use ofuntil addiction is the differential association theory. According todifferential theory, the person develops a habit, behavior orattitudes due to the interaction with other people (Scarpitti,2009).In this case, a person will take Fentanyl due to the interaction withanother person or group of individuals that take Fentanyl as asubstance of abuse. Individuals choose to take drugs of abuse such asthe Fentanyl as a result of the peer pressure exerted by the groupmembers.

Theuse of Fentanyl is also as a result of the desire of an individual tofit into a group by doing what they do. To feel fit in the group, aperson takes the drug to equalize his status with the group. Theresulting addiction leads to a feeling of satisfaction to both theindividual and to the group. Consequently, a person remains addictedto the drug, and cannot try to withdraw or leave the drug as long asthe association with the group still exists. This makes the use ofFentanyl and other drugs a widespread illicit act of substance abuse.


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NationalInstitutes of Health, 2011. &quotFentanyl&quot.RetrievedFrom &lthttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a605043.html&gtSeptember 20, 2014Scarpitti,F. R., Nielsen, A. L., &amp Miller, J. M. (2009). ASociological Theory of Criminal Behavior. Crime and CriminalsContemporary and Classic Readings in Criminology.New York: Oxford University Press