5 Facts About Fentanyl:
What you need to know about this addictive & dangerous drug.
What is Fentanyl & Why is There a Rise in Fentanyl Overdoses?
Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has gained significant attention due to its potency and the alarming increase in overdose-related incidents. It is crucial to be well-informed about this substance, especially if you or someone you love struggles with substance use disorder.
Here are a few key facts that we want you to know about fentanyl
- Potency and Medicinal Use:
Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and more than 50 times more potent than heroin. While it is a prescription medication and is legally prescribed for patients receiving cancer treatment, undergoing surgery, or chronic pain conditions, it is vital to understand that it should only be administered under strict medical supervision. Due to its potency, even small miscalculations in dosage can lead to severe consequences.
- Illicit Production and Street Use:
Unfortunately, fentanyl has found its way into the illegal drug market, contributing to a surge in opioid-related deaths. People who are more like to illicitly buy drugs are at higher risk because fentanyl is more commonly mixed with drugs, like heroin or cocaine, it has recently been linked to fake prescription pills being sold on the streets. This poses a significant risk, as individuals may unknowingly consume a substance with a much higher potency than they anticipated, increasing the likelihood of overdose.
- Overdose Risk and Signs:
Fentanyl overdoses can occur rapidly due to its potency. Recognizing the signs of an overdose is critical for prompt intervention. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, extreme drowsiness, confusion, pinpoint pupils, and loss of consciousness. If you suspect someone has overdosed on fentanyl, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
- Naloxone as an Antidote:
Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is an opioid antagonist that can rapidly reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose. It is available in various forms, including nasal spray and injectable formulations. Community organizations, first responders, and healthcare professionals often carry naloxone, and it is important for individuals who may come into contact with opioids to know how to administer it in case of an emergency.
- Prevention and Harm Reduction:
To mitigate the risks associated with fentanyl, education and prevention efforts are essential.
- Public health initiatives should focus on raising awareness about the dangers of fentanyl.
- Promoting safe prescribing practices among healthcare professionals.
- Expanding access to substance abuse treatment programs.
- Harm reduction strategies, such as supervised consumption sites and drug checking services, can also play a crucial role in reducing overdose incidents.
Fentanyl presents a complex challenge in the realms of both medicine and public health. Understanding its potency, risks, and potential consequences is key to addressing the ongoing opioid crisis. By fostering awareness, implementing harm reduction measures, and promoting responsible prescribing practices, we can work towards mitigating the impact of fentanyl on individuals and communities alike.
Stay informed, stay vigilant, and contribute to the collective effort to combat the misuse of this potent opioid.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse disorder and in clear danger of a potential overdose please contact us today.
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