A dramatic surge in fentanyl cases fuels opioid epidemic

August 25, 2016 5:58 PM

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Buprenorphine is a opioid used as an alternative to methadone to help addicts recovering from heroin use. Buprenorphine is different from other opioids because it's a "partial opioid agonist," which means that when taken in proper prescribed doses, it should produce less euphoria and physical dependence, and therefore a lower potential for misuse. It's also supposed to have a relatively mild withdrawal profile.

However, if abused by crushing and snorting or injecting, it can suppress breathing and cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness and death.

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