fentanyl poisoning
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Our ongoing national opioid crisis has witnessed a recent surge in the abuse and addiction of a powerful synthetic opioid – fentanyl. Its prevalence in the national drug supply chain and ability to mimic multiple other substances has led many people to become inadvertently addicted. This widespread issue also includes fentanyl poisoning and overdose.

The Scope of Fentanyl Abuse in the U.S.

Fentanyl has rapidly gained notoriety as one of the deadliest drugs in the opioid epidemic. According to the CDC, synthetic opioids like fentanyl were responsible for over 82% of all opioid-involved deaths in 2020.

Many people accidentally get hooked on fentanyl, as drug traffickers mix it with other substances to enhance their effects. These include illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, in addition to counterfeit prescription pills that closely resemble the genuine article. Because fentanyl is odorless and tasteless, it’s impossible to identify its presence without test strips. Fentanyl has significantly increased the potential of opioid addiction and overdose, since a dose as small as two milligrams can be lethal.

Understanding Fentanyl Poisoning

Fentanyl poisoning, or overdose, happens if someone takes more fentanyl than their body can handle. Since fentanyl is a central nervous system suppressant, respiratory failure can quickly occur. Due to fentanyl’s potency, it’s easy to consume a toxic amount, especially if you assume you are taking a different substance.

Recognizing the signs of fentanyl poisoning can mean the difference between life and death. They include:

  1. Slow or labored breathing
  2. Extreme sleepiness or inability to wake up
  3. Slowed or stopped heartbeat
  4. Cold or clammy skin
  5. Blue or gray lips and fingernails
  6. Unresponsiveness or unconsciousness

During a drug overdose, every moment counts. If you suspect someone you know is experiencing fentanyl poisoning, immediately call 911 and administer naloxone if available.

Seeking Help at Hope by the Sea

Dealing with fentanyl addiction can be isolating, but we believe nobody should have to face the challenge alone. At Hope by the Sea, we offer a complete continuum of care tailored to your unique needs. Our multiple treatment tracks provide evidence-based therapies that set the stage for overcoming addiction and fostering a lifetime of recovery.

Our approach includes medical detoxification to safely manage withdrawal symptoms, residential and outpatient programs for flexible treatment plans and dual-diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health issues. Our highly trained staff provides compassionate care to guide our clients toward hope, healing and recovery.

Fentanyl poisoning has become an all-too-common reality, making it critical to understand the risks and warning signs. Recovery is challenging, but you are never alone. At Hope by the Sea, we can help you realize a healthier, brighter future. If you are battling opioid addiction, a single call can change your life.