China White Heroin

China White Heroin | Midwood Addiction Treatment

China White heroin is the common street name given to a heroin substitute made from the synthetic opioid fentanyl, a fast-acting, and incredibly potent pain medication and anesthetic. Dealers sometimes lace China White into heroin to increase the drug’s strength, though this can result in imminent death for the credulous user. The powder may be snorted, or diluted with water and injected into a vein.

China White Heroin’s Effect on the Brain

Psychoactive substances, such as opioids like heroin and China White, activate the reward centers of our brains to an unnatural level and affecting the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure. This effect, over time, can make users vulnerable to cravings for the substance, so much so that the person begins to obsess over its acquisition and use.

When this addictive behavior occurs, the person may begin to find less pleasure in other activities, including those necessary for life such as eating. The drug essentially hijacks the brain’s reward center so that nothing else will compete with the feelings of euphoria it provides.

Drugs like heroin act on the reward center of the brain, much like a delicious meal, except the response is far greater than any dopamine response that would otherwise occur naturally. The neurochemical action of China White is very similar to that of heroin, yet fentanyl is roughly 50 times more potent than heroin itself. As such, China White is extraordinarily addictive and produces nearly irresistible cravings and severe withdrawal symptoms, among other significant health problems.

Unfortunately, over time altering the dopamine reward system means that the body begins relying on the drug to activate dopamine release, and tolerance starts to develop. Drug tolerance is a condition in which the user needs ever-increasing amounts of the drug in order to achieve the desired effect. Regarding many substances, tolerance is a product of the body’s propensity toward “repeated exposure = reduced response.”

Moreover, someone who has been using China White may discover that heroin no longer induces the effect they seek, thereby compelling continued abuse of the more powerful and lethal alternative. Along with tolerance, dependence can develop.

When someone becomes physiologically dependent on a substance, his or her body can no longer adequately function if they try to quit or cut back. As such, discontinuation of the drug results in an array of highly unpleasant symptoms known as withdrawal. These symptoms often drive the person to return to use in an effort to avoid them.

Adverse Effects of China White

The impact of China White on the body is almost immediate, and even in small doses, it can depress breathing to potentially lethal levels. As a substance with properties that depress the central nervous system (CNS), it can rapidly prove deadly if used in conjunction with any other CNS depressant, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, or even medications as seemingly benign as antidepressants.

In addition to respiratory depression, China White can also cause gastrointestinal problems, changes in heart rate, fainting, and prolonged fatigue or sedation. It increases a person’s risk of experiencing mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, confusion, and personality changes. It has also been known to impair the immune system and produce hallucinations.

China White has also been associated with overdoses that are frequently life-threatening, with thousands of deaths having been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the last few years alone. Some of these fatalities were linked to heroin that had been cut with fentanyl unbeknownst to the user. A dose of pure China White any higher than 2 mg can be fatal, and combining it with other psychoactive substances, particularly depressants, compounds this danger.

China White Heroin | Midwood Addiction Treatment

China White Withdrawal

The symptoms of withdrawal from China White are more intense than that of heroin and may include the following:

  • Severe drug cravings
  • Chills and muscle aches
  • Profuse sweating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Accelerated breathing
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Due to the severity of cravings and symptoms, a medically-managed detox is advised to help someone get through the physical and psychological changes safely while also preventing relapse. This detox process typically lasts anywhere from three days to a week.

Detox programs usually address these issues with pharmaceuticals such as other synthetic opioid drugs (e.g., buprenorphine), nutritional support, the treatment of any co-occurring mental disorders, and continuous emotional support. These are vital components of any comprehensive treatment program for China White addiction.

Getting Treatment

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers professional support and comprehensive, evidence-based treatment options to meet the unique needs of patients seeking help for an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Our team of addiction specialists is committed to providing each patient with the tools and support they need to achieve long-lasting sobriety and wellness. Contact us today and discover how we can help you begin your recovery journey and guide you every step of the way!

What is Fentanyl?

What is fentanyl? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. The effects of fentanyl are similar to that of other particularly strong opioids such as heroin. The drug is among the most dangerous and prevalent in the United States, currently believed to be involved in as many as half of the drug-related deaths in the country.

Forms of Fentanyl:

Medically-approved fentanyl is found in hospitals and occasionally available in prescription forms. In a hospital setting, it is frequently used for the treatment of severe injuries or as general anesthesia for surgeries. Due to fentanyl’s potency, prescription forms are typically designed with extremely slow administration properties, such as that which is found in transdermal patches and lollipops.

Where Street Fentanyl Originates:

Illicit fentanyl s not usually found as a product of drug diversion, but instead, illegally made in China and trafficked through Mexican cartels into the U.S. Sometimes it’s bought and sold on the Internet via the Dark Web.

Fentanyl is commonly laced into heroin or substituted outright for it, in counterfeit pills labeled as other substances, such as Xanax (an anti-anxiety medication) or Vicodin, a prescription analgesic (painkiller.) For this reason, fentanyl users are frequently unaware of its presence, therefore further increasing the risk of an overdose.

Moreover, fentanyl is easier and less expensive to make than heroin, which translates to popularity among dealers to maximize profits.

How Does Fentanyl Work?

Fentanyl, like other psychoactive substances, affects neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for feelings of reward and well-being. As a depressant, fentanyl slows activity in the central nervous system (CNS) resulting in desirable effects such as euphoria and relaxation.

Some Of The Side Effects:

Excessive use, however, can lead to the following adverse effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Extreme drowsiness and oversedation
  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Slowed respiration or respiratory distress
  • Slowed heart rate

High Potential For Overdose:

Fentanyl use can also result in life-threatening effects as it has a high potential for overdose. Potentially fatal complications of fentanyl abuse include unresponsiveness, coma, respiratory arrest, and death. This condition is especially risky for persons who have not developed a tolerance to the high potency of the drug, which often includes regular heroin users.

If you suspect that you are witnessing an overdose, please call 911 immediately. First responders frequently save lives using naloxone (Narcan), a drug that can reverse opioid-related, life-threatening CNS depression and overdose.

Chronic Abuse, Tolerance, and Dependence:

Long-term fentanyl use can impair judgment and memory. Regular abuse often results in adverse life consequences, such as legal problems, strained relationships, loss of employment, and worsening of underlying mental health conditions such as generalized depression or bipolar disorder.

Tolerance occurs when the body becomes used to the drug’s presence, and increasing amounts of the drug become necessary to achieve the user’s desired effects. The development of tolerance often causes the person to use excessive amounts, thus substantially increasing the risk of an overdose.

Dependence occurs because, over time, the body’s central nervous system becomes unable to function properly without drug use. Upon cessation, users experience highly unpleasant withdrawal effects as their body struggles to regain equilibrium.

Some Withdrawal Symptoms:

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms occur when the individual abruptly stops using the drug. Adverse symptoms may manifest within 24 hours after the last dose, and acute withdrawal usually subsides within a week.

Withdrawal symptoms related to prescription fentanyl can be managed through a physician who can devise a tapering or weaning schedule to reduce the severity of symptoms over a defined period of time.

Many fentanyl users, however, choose to undergo a detox program in an addiction treatment facility, which instead involves constant medical supervision and sometimes medication-assisted treatment such as methadone or suboxone.

Withdrawals, although not typically life-threatening, can be very unpleasant and are one of the primary contributors to relapse.

Withdrawal symptoms may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Excessive yawning
  • Excessive sweating or chills/shivering
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Tearing up
  • Runny nose and flu-like symptoms
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Generalized body aches in muscles and joints

Getting Help for Fentanyl Addiction

Whether inpatient or outpatient, treatment often consists of individual and group therapies, counseling, and holistic practices such as mindfulness meditation and nutritional education. Patients are taught how to improve their coping skills and management of reactivity to triggers and stressful life events.

Fentanyl addiction is a lifelong condition, and usually requires long-term support from loved ones and peers. Also, aftercare options include twelve-step meetings such as Narcotics anonymous, sponsorship’s, and drug treatment alumni programs that are often beneficial for this reason.

Takeaways: Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid with a high potential for addiction and overdose. Fentanyl dependence is most effectively treated under the supervision of a qualified detox/addiction treatment facility to avoid relapse, as well as prepare patients for reentry into society and future sustainment of a drug-free lifestyle.

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Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

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