Legendary singer Chaka Khan has canceled a series of concerts to check into rehab. She and her sister Yvonne Stevens decided to get help after losing her friend Prince to the same drug addiction. The 63-year-old singer admitted to being hooked on prescription drugs for years. Despite the warnings surrounding the dangers of medications such as fentanyl and oxycodone, many people suffer from addictions after taking them for relief.
The drug fentanyl is one of the strongest opiate drugs on the market. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this synthetic opioid is usually reserved for unbearable pain after surgery or by those suffering from advanced-stage cancer. The effective chemicals in this prescription painkiller come from the same poppy plant used to make opium and heroin. Although painkillers give a feeling of euphoria much like heroin, addiction often begins with an emotional dependence. Anyone can become dependent on opiates, the drug carries a high risk for abuse and recreational use.
Chaka and her sister, known as Taka Boom, were stunned by the sudden death of longtime friend Prince. Despite having to cancel concerts over the summer, the sisters have decided to make their health needs a priority. The duo thought it best to embark upon the journey of recovery together so they could support each other throughout the extensive process. After canceling concerts to enter rehab, the Grammy-award winning singer said:
The tragic death of Prince has had us both rethinking and reevaluating our lives and priorities. We knew it was time to take action to save our lives. My sister and I would like to thank everyone for their support, love and prayers. Unfortunately, I will miss concert appearances over the summer; however, it is vital that I put my health and well-being first. I know that I am disappointing some of my fans, but I also know they would want me to recover and be well and healthy.
The drug fentanyl is so potent that the equivalent of a few grains of salt can be lethal in most people. Experts say it is easy to produce and today a number of underground labs pump out the substance. There are several ways to receive a dosage of the painkiller such as injections, tablets, lozenges, and patches. Any person who takes the drug for more than a couple of weeks has an increased risk of becoming addicted. The drug is so powerful that it is possible to overdose just by taking more than two pills at once.
Chaka made a quality decision to forego upcoming concerts and enter into rehab. It is common for celebrities to be plagued with problems of substance abuse with several cases resulting in death. Those with celebrity status do not have the same problems acquiring drugs as commoners and as such, their addiction is easier to mask.
Opioid painkillers are extremely dangerous because they are so seductive. They work by blocking the pain signals from the nerve endings in the skin to the spinal cord and the brain. This opens the floodgates for the chemical dopamine, which triggers sensations of well-being. Dopamine rewires the brain to become accustomed to those benign feelings, leading to addiction.
Chaka and Yvonne have opted to receive treatment in hopes of avoiding a fatal overdose like many others. Shaken up by the death of friend and singer Prince Rogers Nelson, the sisters entered an intensive rehabilitation and aftercare program. Fans celebrate Chaka Khan’s decision to focus on healing and recovery.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Page Six: Chaka Khan checks into rehab for same drug that killed Prince
US Weekly: Fentanyl: All About the Drug That Killed Prince
Narconon: Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse
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