Scary Facts About Fentanyl and Why They Matter

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Scary Facts About Fentanyl and Why They Matter

While we’ve been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic has continued to rage across America.  Although the drug problem has been ignored this past year doesn’t mean it has gone away.  In fact, synthetic opioid abuse and overdoses have spiked dramatically during the virus lockdowns.

The drug involved in more than half of the opioid-related fatal overdoses is fentanyl.  If you don’t know much about the drug, here are some scary facts about fentanyl and why they matter.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a potent analgesic that is almost 100 times stronger than morphine.  It was first used in the 1960s as an intravenous anesthetic known as Sublimaze.  The fentanyl patch was developed in the mid-1990s for long-term pain relief.  Various brand names for fentanyl include Duragesic, Actiq, Onsolis, Fentora, Sublimaze, and Instanyl.

Fentanyl can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken orally.  Some people open the patches and eat the gel beads contained inside.

Scary Facts About Fentanyl You Need to Know

Anyone who experiments with illicit substances should be aware of fentanyl dangers.  Furthermore, parents show know the facts so they can educate their children.

One specific danger of fentanyl is that it is often used to lace other substances.  Drug dealers want to make a profit.  Fentanyl is cheaper than some of the other products they use.  As a result, it can be found in cocaine, meth, marijuana, heroin, or other drugs.  Unsuspecting users buy those drugs not knowing what they’re getting.  Overdose is often the result.

Here are more scary facts about fentanyl according to three government agencies:

According to the CDC:

  • Teens mistakenly believe fentanyl is safe because it’s a prescription drug.  Unfortunately, illicit fentanyl comes to the US from China and Mexico and is not subject to government control and scrutiny.
  • Synthetic opioid and fentanyl overdose deaths were 12 times higher in 2019
  • Fentanyl is one of the most potent and deadly substances ever invented.
  • Fentanyl overdose deaths rose by 31% during the first half of 2020.
  • In 2019, more than 36,000 overdose deaths involved fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

According to the DEA:

  • Law enforcement seized 59% more fentanyl in 2020 compared to 2019.
  • Drug cartels ship small loads of fentanyl into New York via mail services.
  • Fentanyl has caused more deaths and disruption to families than any other drug.
  • DEA has launched Project Wave Breaker to stop the flood of fentanyl into the US.  The initiative will target Mexican transnational criminal organizations that are the primary distributors and suppliers of fentanyl in our country.
  • A lethal dose of fentanyl is 2.2 milligrams.  One in four pills tested by DEA labs contained a potentially lethal dose.
  • Deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by 60% in 2020.

According to NIDA:

  • It only takes 2 milligrams of fentanyl to kill a person.
  • Fentanyl now surpasses opioids as the most common drug responsible for fatal overdoses.
  • Naloxone can reverse a fentanyl overdose.
  • Professional treatment can help a person overcome fentanyl use or addiction.

The CDC, DEA, and NIDA agree that educating our youth about the dangers of fentanyl and other drugs is the first step in prevention.

 

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How to know if someone has overdosed on fentanyl:

Fentanyl overdose symptoms can appear within seconds or minutes of use.  Here are some of the signs to look for:

  • Blue-tinged lips and fingernails
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness, unconsciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing slowed heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If you suspect a fentanyl overdose, contact 911 right away.  Fentanyl overdose is not something a person can simply “sleep off.”

Overcome Fentanyl Abuse or Addiction with Professional Treatment

If these scary facts about fentanyl have you worried, that’s good.  Now that you know the real dangers involved with this powerful drug, you have reason to avoid it.  However, if you are using fentanyl, seek professional treatment.  With our multi-modality program, you can overcome fentanyl use or addiction for good.  Contact A Forever Recovery today at the toll-free number provided above.

 

Sources:

cdc.gov – Fentanyl

drugabuse.gov – Fentanyl DrugFacts

dea.gov – Fentanyl

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