Fentanyl is a prescription drug that is used to treat severe pain. Typically used in people who have developed a tolerance to other common pain medications, but it can also be used for anesthesia during surgery. So when you think about the implications that it has, it could be used for great purposes right? However, fentanyl is also a destructive and powerful synthetic opioid that is being used at an increasingly alarming rate in the illegal drug market. It is currently being illegally manufactured and sold on the streets, which can often be mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine. This is why fentanyl awareness is so important!
The main reason this drug is so deadly is because of its potency. With the rise in fentanyl-related deaths, it is very apparent that it’s easy to accidentally overdose on this drug. Fentanyl overdose can lead to numerous things, with one being respiratory depression, which can be fatal. Some symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include slow or shallow breathing, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. In recent years, the use of fentanyl has been on the rise, leading to a significant increase in overdose deaths as previously mentioned. In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has called it a national crisis. It is vital for people to be aware of the risks associated with fentanyl and to avoid using any illegal drugs as a whole. If you suspect that someone has overdosed on fentanyl, it is essential to call 911 immediately.
The “fentanyl epidemic” really started back around 3 to 4 years ago and had affected many lives of not only the victims but the friends and family of those unfortunate passings. The fentanyl category of opioids itself accounted for 53,480 preventable deaths in 2020, which represents a 59% increase over the 33,725 total in 2019. One of the main reasons this drug is considered so deadly is due to the fact that it is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and just a small amount can be fatal.
Mainly synthetic opioids (other than methadone)—are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths. 82.3% of opioid-involved overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to fentanyl or other opioids, it is crucial to seek immediate help. This is why fentanyl awareness is so imperative towards knowing the symptoms and seeking out the proper treatment options. Wolfe offers drug testing for fentanyl as a part of standard employment drug screening. If you are a parent and suspect your child may be using fentanyl, contact us today to get more information regarding having your child tested. Many treatment options are available, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), counseling, and support groups. These can tremendously help people overcome their addiction and avoid the risks associated with this drug.
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