How Does Smoking Fentanyl Affect the Brain Compared to Other Methods of Consumption?

How Does Smoking Fentanyl Affect the Brain Compared to Other Methods of Consumption?

Smoking Fentanyl: A Hazardous Route to Brain Damage

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has become a rampant threat in the United States. Its potency has sparked an epidemic of overdoses, and its consumption methods are evolving, leading to new health concerns.

Damaging the Brain: Fentanyl’s Toxic Impact

A recent study in BMJ Case Reports has uncovered a disturbing consequence of smoking fentanyl: toxic leukoencephalopathy (TLE). TLE refers to damage to the brain’s white matter caused by a toxic substance. This is the first reported case of TLE resulting from smoking fentanyl.

TLE, previously associated with smoking heroin, affects various brain regions, including the cerebellum and globus pallidus. These areas are responsible for movement, coordination, and sensory processing. The damage caused by TLE can range from mild confusion to coma and even death.

Smoking vs. Other Consumption Methods

While TLE has been observed with fentanyl patches, pills, and accidental ingestion, experts believe that smoking or inhalation may pose a greater risk due to the faster and higher concentration of the drug reaching the brain.

In a review of 51 cases of substance-abuse-related TLE, 40% of the patients had died within one month. Only four patients made a full recovery. This highlights the severe consequences of TLE.

The Escalating Crisis: Nitazenes and Brorphines

The fentanyl crisis is further compounded by the emergence of even more potent synthetic opioids, such as nitazenes and brorphines. Nitazines have been linked to respiratory suppression and death at lower doses than fentanyl. Brorphines also exhibit high potency, fueling concerns among medical professionals.

Conclusion: Enhancing Detection and Prevention

The new case report emphasizes the need for routine toxicity screening tests to include fentanyl. Given the increasing prevalence of nitazenes and brorphines, developing screening methods to identify these drugs is paramount.

also read:Susan Wojcicki’s Son Dies from Fentanyl Overdose: A Tragic Reminder of the Ongoing Crisis

By Deepika

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *